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Meeting the global challenge of adaptation by addressing transboundary climate risk

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Rebecca Nadin, Katy Harris, Erin Roberts

Hero image description: 'Adaptation is a global challenge faced by all with local, subnational, regional, and international dimensions.' (Paris Agreement, 2015) Image credit:ODI/Sean Wilmott Image license:© ODI

Under the current UNFCCC frameworks and Paris Agreement, adaptation is mainly seen as a national level issue. However, the effects of climate change – and adaptation actions themselves – will be felt globally and so must be addressed on the regional and global levels as well.

Failing to meet the challenges of adaptation will produce risks from which no country is able to fully isolate itself. International supply chains, migration patterns, financial systems and shared ecosystems will be destabilised to everyone’s disadvantage, leading to a situation of “climate change contagion” in the global economy. It is therefore critical to examine the role of adaptation in reducing – rather than redistributing – vulnerability globally.

This brief, co-authored by researchers at IDDRI, SEI and ODI, reviews recent progress in international climate change negotiations before discussing how progress in meeting the global challenge of adaptation might be achieved.

Magnus Benzie, Kevin M. Adams, Erin Roberts, Alexandre K. Magnan, Åsa Persson, Rebecca Nadin, Richard J.T. Klein, Katy Harris and Sébastien Treyer