Presented by the Government of
the Netherlands

event convened a high-level panel to present and discuss an ongoing World Bank
study, entitled "The Economics of Adaptation to Climate Change."

Jacqueline Cramer, Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, noted
challenges in carrying out the study, including: time pressures associated with
being prepared for Copenhagen in December 2009; the mobilization of political
support; transfer of results of individual case studies to the global level; and
differentiation between adaptation and development. She highlighted the need
for transparency in ensuring credible outcomes.

Hannah Ryder, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK, highlighted
the importance of the World Bank Study in providing additional information on
estimated levels of adaptation financing. She stressed the need to learn from
experiences from the delivery of foreign aid.

Sergio Mergulis, World Bank, said the study’s objectives include determining
the total cost of adaptation at the global level, noting the tradeoff between
arriving at a number in a timely manner, prior to Copenhagen in December 2009, and ensuring the
credibility of the data and results. He described methodologies, including
those that could determine what level of adaptation could be deemed adequate.
He discussed the relationship between adaptation and mitigation, namely the
notion that diverting resources for mitigation towards adaptation will prolong
climate change and, thus, necessitate greater adaptation.

Mergulis stressed the need to differentiate between development and adaptation,
and the role of the public versus private sectors. He noted difficulties
associated with predicting global environmental and economic conditions between
2010 and 2050. He emphasized working from the ground-level up, and combining
field work with macroeconomic analysis. He noted that the study considers
multiple sectors, and incorporates the impacts of climate change and resultant
loss of agricultural productivity.

Two leaders from countries involved in the study then described their
adaptation activities. John Vargas, Vice-Minister of Environment and Planning, Bolivia,
stressed that the current food, climate and financial crises are linked and
must be addressed simultaneously. William Kojo Agyemang-Bonsu, Environmental
Protection Authority, Ghana,
described adaptation needs for addressing concerns related to health,
agriculture, and poverty reduction.

Participants discussed adaptation as a learning process that is beyond technology
and infrastructure, and the need to approach adaptation strategically