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Identifying main adaptation concerns and setting a strategic direction

2.6 Identifying main adaptation concerns and setting a strategic direction

The strategic direction should be defined in terms of what is intended to be achieved and what the targets and objectives are (short-term by the 2030s, medium-term by the 2050s, long-term by the 2080/2100s), based on climate change, socio-economic development and other non-climatic factors.

Main concerns may be impacts and risks that:

  • are faced already today;
  • will increase due to climate change;
  • will affect systems with long life span or key infrastructure (e.g. transport infrastructure and built environment);
  • will affect systems irreversibly;
  • will increase due to additional non-climate drivers (e.g. problems with health issues will increase due to climate change and the growing group of vulnerable elderly).

Decision-makers are faced with the task to translate the science of future climate change impacts to set policy goals and plans based on their capacities and contexts. However, there is a lack of support tools that translate the preferences and constraints of stakeholders to assess the viability of goals and strategies for adaptation planning. The use of models is useful for posteriori, exploratory decision-making support purposes. Models can conduct different computational experiments to simulate how the various uncertainties might formulate and can help to select the strategic direction to be taken.