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Adaptation options

Adaptation aims to manage climate risk to an acceptable level, taking advantage of any positive opportunities that may arise. Potential adaptation options can be explored below by selecting a specific climate impact and / or adaptation sector of interest. Case studies of adaptation measures implemented in specific regions can be investigated here.


Adaptation options include concrete infrastructural solutions as well as actions that build adaptive capacity. Building adaptive capacity involves developing the institutional capacity required to respond effectively to climate change. This firstly involves gathering and sharing information. Examples of information gathering might include undertaking research or monitoring data and company records, and this may be shared by raising awareness through education and training initiatives. Secondly a supportive institutional framework needs to be created. This could involve changing standards, legislation, and best practice guidance, and developing appropriate policies, plans and strategies.

Adaptation options can be aimed at:

  • Accepting the impacts, and bearing the losses that result from risks (e.g. managing retreat from sea level rise)
  • Off-setting losses by sharing or spreading the risks or losses (e.g. through insurance)
  • Avoiding or reducing exposure to climate risks (e.g. building new flood defences, or changing location or activity)
  • Exploiting new opportunities (e.g. engaging in a new activity, or changing practices to take advantage of changing climatic conditions)

Another way of considering adaptation options is to consider the types of actions that can be taken. These may be:

  • Temporary (e.g. using large umbrellas to reduce solar heat gains)
  • Managerial (e.g. introducing flexi-time, or facilitating working from home)
  • Technical (e.g. refurbishing buildings, or enhancing flood defences)
  • Strategic (e.g. commissioning new buildings with a climate resilient design as part of a planned capital building programme)

Explore adaptation options

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