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Climate change and developing countries

Sky Climate change is happening and there is increasing evidence that it is man-made. Recent economic analysis such as the Stern Report as well as scientific analysis such as the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on climate change (IPCC) make a strong case for early action against climate change, and the European Union (EU) has taken a leadership role by proposing far-reaching measures to achieve the long-term goal of stabilising global temperature rise to 2°C. This proposal spells out the EU position in the forthcoming negotiations on a post-2012 multilateral agreement on emission reductions 2012 being the end of the Kyoto Protocol under the UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change .


People living in developing countries often depend heavily on their natural environment, and will be hard hit by the effects of climate change, for example:

  • lower agricultural yields
  • growing water stress
  • flooding of low-lying lands
  • spread of infectious diseases to new, warmer areas.

The EU helps developing countries find ways to adapt to these changes and reduce their vulnerability in the following ways:

The EU Action Plan on Climate Change and Development

The EU action plan on climate change and development  ensures climate change is incorporated into all aspects of EU development policy.

Its four priorities are:

  • raising the political profile of climate change
  • support for adaptation in developing countries
  • support for mitigation and sustainable development paths
  • developing administrative capacity in vulnerable countries

The action plan is funded through the Commission's geographical programmes for countries and regions, and its programme for the environment and sustainable management of natural resources.

How the EU helps developing countries cope with climate change

EU strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction

EU implementation plan for disaster risk reduction in developing countries 2011-2014


Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA)

The Global climate change alliancewill spend €60m in 2008-10 to create awareness and jointly address climate change between the EU and the most vulnerable developing countries (typically least developed countries and small island developing states.

The alliance is based on:

  • improved dialogue on addressing climate change - feeding into the discussions on a post-2012 agreement under the UNFCCC.
  • concrete support for adaptation and mitigation measures and the inclusion of climate change in development strategies and programmes.

Support is given to five priorities:

  • adapting to climate change
  • reducing emissions from deforestation, while preserving livelihoods and ecosystems
  • enhancing participation in the global carbon market through the Clean Development Mechanism
  • promoting disaster risk reduction
  • integrating climate change into poverty reduction efforts.

Existing funding for climate change and environmental issues will also contribute to the goals of the alliance ? and EU governments have been asked to provide more funds for it.

Coordination with other donors

The Commission participates actively in the vulnerability and adaptation resource group.

This is a forum for debate, consisting of a core group of bilateral and multilateral donors, with a broader range of groups (academia, research institutes and other interest groups) invited to join the discussions, depending on the issue.

The group has produced two papers:


Last update: 17/02/2012 | Top