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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

Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change

2.4 How certain are future climate projections and how do I deal with the uncertainty?

Inherent to any decision-making process, uncertainty and knowledge gaps are particularly emphasised as a challenge when working on climate change adaptation. Still, this is not a reason for inaction under those conditions: investing in flexible, low-regret adaptation action is in the self-interest of most public and private actors. There are ways to successfully address those challenges.


Given the uncertainty associated with climate projections, robust strategies are required for a wide variety of possible future conditions. Dealing with uncertainty in adaptation planning is an important and challenging issue. It requires awareness of the key uncertainties associated with the analysis and an understanding of the quality of the information on which it is based.

Therefore, it is important that the development of an adaptation policy does not assume a single future. It is crucial to identify, prepare for, and practice actions under several future scenarios.

The CLIMATE-ADAPT section on uncertainty guidance provides access to resources covering the following topics:

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