What are the goals of climate change adaptation?

A dry plant on a rock.
Image: colourbox.de/verändert durch FAU

Is climate change adaption urgent?

The goals of climate change adaptation are to reduce risk and vulnerability to climate change, strengthen resilience, enhance well-being and the capacity to anticipate, and respond successfully to change. The impacts of climate change affect people and nature in many different ways requiring different adaptation actions. The goals for these adaptation actions can relate to health, water or food security, jobs and employment, poverty eradication and social equity, biodiversity and ecosystem services at international, national, and local levels.

For human systems, adaptation includes actions such as hardening a building against flooding. At the local level, communities can take actions that include updating building codes and land use plans, improving soil management, enhancing water use efficiency, supporting migrants and taking measures for poverty reduction. For natural systems, adaptation includes organisms changing behaviours, migrating to new locations and genetic modifications in response to changing climate conditions.

The available evidence suggests that current adaptation efforts may be insufficient to help ensure sustainable development in many communities worldwide even under the most optimistic greenhouse gas emissions scenarios. Climate change adaptation is, therefore, urgent to the extent that meeting important societal goals requires immediate and long-term action by governments, business, civil society, and individuals at a scale and speed significantly faster than that represented by current trends.

FAU’s ‘Info bites’ on the effects of climate change.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll publish info bites, small bits of information, about the outcomes of the report to show how climate change affects everybody and how we can work to limit its effects.

IPCC Report info bites

About the World Climate Report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. In their latest report, published in late February, scientists outline the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for reducing the rate at which climate change is taking place. One of the report’s main authors is Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kiessling, head of the Chair of Palaeontology.

Wolfgang Kießling on the Wolrd Climate Report