Meeting the global challenge of adaptation by addressing transboundary climate risk

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Although Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have agreed to limit warming to “well below” 2°C, the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that have been submitted would result in warming closer to 3°C. Even this may be optimistic, as the 3°C estimate presumes that countries achieve their targets, which few are on track to do. With this reality as a backdrop, it is imperative to increase adaptation action worldwide and, in so doing, to scale up efforts from the local to the global.

This new brief from SEI, IDDRI and ODI finds that a transboundary view of climate risk creates opportunities for international cooperation on adaptation. The brief asserts that the critical importance of adaptation is still under-valued in international negotiations. Specifically, the view that adaptation is a local problem is holding back ambition to pursue a global adaptation agenda that seeks solutions beyond the local-to-national level.

“The brief argues that a transboundary view of climate risk creates opportunities for international cooperation on adaptation” – says Mistra Geopolitics researcher Magnus Benzie.

The brief argues that adopting a transboundary view of climate risk, which explicitly recognises the interconnections between people, ecosystems and economies in a globalised world, changes the scope and nature of the adaptation challenge, and creates opportunities to reinvigorate international cooperation on adaptation. Specifically, the UNFCCC remains a critical space for coordinating global action on climate change, including building resilience and adapting to the adverse effects of a warmer world.

It reviews recent progress in the international climate negotiations and explores how progress in meeting the global challenge of adaptation might be achieved.

Read more and download the full brief here >

Authors: Magnus Benzie, Kevin Adams, and Åsa Persson