Adaption to climate change

Adaption to climate change

Why adapt to climate change?

Mitigation, adaptation, or both?

Despite debates around the causes and effects of climate change, scientific evidence shows that global temperature, sea levels and rainfall are rising faster than previously thought. Climate change will permanently alter the land and water we all depend upon for survival. More disasters are expected.

Yet mitigation measures are still not developed, and require substantial time for development and implementation. Therefore, adaptation is a key response for the impacts that will occur over the next few decades before mitigation measures start to have an effect.

"A recently published report from the United Nation Environment Programme's Finance Initiative (UNEP FI, 2006) estimated that losses from weather events are doubling globally every 12 years."

Working example (a better drainage system to adapt to greater flooding problems)
There has been severe flooding in low-lying Sheung Wan District in Hong Kong. To resolve the flooding problem, in 2009 the HK Government completed a $220 million project which comprises construction of intercepting drains and a stormwater pumping station. (

Climate change consequences

Approximately 20-30% of plant and animal species assessed so far are likely to be at increased risk of extinction if increases in global average temperature exceed 1.5-2.5 °C.

As a result of increased atmospheric CO2e concentrations and resulting higher temperatures, there are projected to be major changes in ecosystem structure and function, species' ecological interaction and shifts in species' geographical ranges, with predominantly negative consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem goods and services, e.g. water and food supply.

For more consequences, see

Improve adaption capactiy

Three components of improved adaptation capacity (Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change)