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CDP Paper Considers Role of Climate Vulnerability in Identifying LDCs

UN logoJune 2012: The UN Economic and Social Council's (ECOSOC) Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has published a background paper reviewing the role of climate change vulnerability in identifying Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It argues that climate change should not be regarded as a new and separate handicap, but as a factor that could aggravate existing handicaps to development.

The paper, titled “Climate Change Vulnerability and the Identification of Least Developed Countries,” is authored by Matthias Bruckner as part of the CDP Background Paper Series. It considers whether climate change vulnerability should be part of the criteria used to identify LDCs, considering that their low development levels result in less resilience to climate change and a lower capacity to adapt. The research was undertaken in the context of the CDP assessment of whether climate change constitutes a structural devel­opment impediment.

The paper considers different socioeconomic impacts of climate change, and analyzes the extent to which these vulnerabilities are captured in the LDC crite­ria used by CDP prior to its 2012 triennial review. Concluding that many of the existing LDC criteria already capture relevant structural vulnerabilities to climate change, it proposes refinements to the criteria to better capture vulnerabilities from natural disasters and in coastal areas, such as replacing the indicator on homelessness due to natural disasters with an indicator on victims of natural disasters. [Publication: Climate Change Vulnerability and the Identification of Least Developed Countries]