Kit Vaughan says it’s time to get out of the “adaptation box”

Kit Vaughan is Director of CARE International’s Climate and Environment Team and joined the GCCA+ Global Learning Event to share knowledge and best practices on adaptation, and to see what opportunities exist to really help target the world’s most vulnerable people and support development.

Mr Vaughan took a moment out of his busy schedule as the keynote speaker on GLE Theme 2 – How to increase the social benefits of climate change policies and interventions – to answer a few questions for the GCCA+ website.

What were your expectations coming into GLE?

My keynote speech on scaling up social benefits really looks at how you target benefits towards the world’s most vulnerable people, but also how you reach that at scale recognising that climate change is a game-changer for development … We’re looking at best practices and options to help scale up and reach ordinary people.

What do you hope to take out of the event?

It’s always great to hear stories from people in the real world, to learn from them … but also to help the European Commission push itself forward to be on the front edge of the adaptation discussion. In particular, to make sure that every euro is effectively spent.

What do you think GCCA+ should be taking home from the event?

There’s a rich mix of people and experience at GLE and it’s a very big agenda. I really hope that it’s not just the GCCA+ but also the European Commission that takes home lessons from those people actually practicing. We’re looking here for best programming and best practice … we’re up against scale and time, so the quicker and more effective we can be, the better we can help ordinary people develop.

Are there any initiatives you personally find interesting as a benchmark or learning experience?

One of the most important things for me is to get out of the ‘adaptation box’ – the adaptation community talking to themselves – which doesn’t really help the development community out there, some of whom are moving along the climate continuum and others who aren’t. The challenge is to really help the development community – gender, water, agriculture, or whatever else it is – get the climate news.

I’d be quite interested to see in the next day or say how adaptation stops being talked about as a stand-alone activity, and starts being talked about as a plethora of activities to build resilience in people, and also pushing back on the focus on the climate information systems and meteorology. It’s great to have that, but for most resource-poor farmers or urban people the issue is not access to accurate weather reports or information services, but access to finance, markets, employment and healthcare, etc. So it’s about how climate change relates to the broader development objectives rather than climate change superseding that.