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A national strategy for adaptation to climate change

This white paper, A national strategy for climate change, lays out a systematic approach to adaptation; it provides decision makers with a comprehensive end-to-end process to develop a robust, fact based business case for adaptation in the highly uncertain context of climate change.

To achieve this, this practical methodology uses a modular approach to systematically

  • a) put a price tag (both in economic and human terms) on the overall climate risk of today and the future to help prioritize the most urgent problems,
  • b) identify and prioritize an actionable portfolio of adaptation measures and
  • c) create a roadmap to implementation and an investment plan.

Political and business leaders worldwide realize the need for immediate and effective action to respond to climate change. This action may include policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to curtail deforestation or to promote afforestation and other carbon sink policies. Most countries will also face enhanced risks from climate change and must adapt their societies to respond. At the same time, leaders have an obligation to promote economic development and improve living standards for their constituencies.

Achieving the country’s and its peoples’ development goals requires significant funds and binds a large share of government capacity. Climate change mitigation and adaptation compete for scarce resources and thus risk being de-prioritized if viewed as conflicting goals. Countries must therefore find ways of combining their development, mitigation and adaptation goals to achieve climate-compatible development.

The methodology is uniformly applicable across all countries, sectors and hazard types, even given limited availability of historical data. The implication for decision makers is that it is possible to undertake a focused, solutions-oriented climate risk assessment in a short time.

Read A national strategy for climate change.