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Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

Identifying adaptation options

Identifying adaptation options

Adaptation options aim to address the previously identified concerns to bring negative impacts at an acceptable level. Further, adaptation options may allow taking advantage of any positive opportunities that arise from climate change. Adaptation options can range from actions that build adaptive capacity (e.g. sharing information, creating supportive institutional framework) to concrete adaptation measures (e.g. technical solutions, insurance mechanism). Once the main concerns have been identified, possible adaptation options shall be collected. This section facilitates an exploration of potential adaptation options and helps identifying relevant actions, and their potential co-benefits.

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 think of the types of actions that can be taken. These may be:

  • temporary (e.g. use large umbrellas to reduce solar heat gains),
  • managerial (e.g. introduce flexi-time; facilitate working from home),
  • technical (e.g. refurbish building; enhance flood defences),
  • strategic (e.g. commission new building with climate resilient design as part of planned capital building programme)

Building adaptive capacity involves developing the ability of people and systems to respond effectively to climate change. This includes gathering and sharing information from the following areas:

  • undertaking research,
  • monitoring data and relevant information sources, and
  • raising awareness through education, sharing experiences and training initiatives,

and creating a supportive institutional framework, by e.g.:

  • changing standards,
  • amending legislation,
  • providing good practice guidance, and
  • developing appropriate policies, plans and strategies. 

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