Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change and Weather Extremes
Chapter 5: Vulnerabilities and impacts as drivers for change
Awareness of the need for adaptation has slowly been growing in international climate policy developments (as outlined in the previous chapters), but also in risk management, disaster planning and private sector management. Given the rising levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as the considerable inertia in achieving stringent mitigation responses, adaptation will be required to address the adverse impacts from climate change. Research increasingly suggests that many manifestations of climate change will be localized, and will require coordinated, planned and context-specific action. Some levels of adaptation will be necessary to address those impacts from climate change that would occur even if stringent cuts of GHG emissions were implemented on a global scale immediately. As outlined in Chapter 2, the latest assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that: ‘[m]ost aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped. This represents a substantial multi-century climate change commitment created by past, present and future emissions of CO2’ (IPCC, 2013). The previous chapter has demonstrated that there is now growing attention to adaptation within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but also by national policy-makers and civil society. Adaptation has emerged as an important pillar of international discussions on a future climate regime under the UNFCCC, alongside mitigation, technology and finance (UNFCCC, 2010).
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