Stop climate change vs. Adapt to climate change?

We are already feeling the effects of climate change: more frequent and severe heat waves, floods, cyclones and wildfires [1].

Therefore we must adapt to the changes in climate, so that we are not so badly affected by them [2].

Adapting to sea level rise might be the biggest challenge – even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases, sea levels will continue to rise [F]. We can protect ourselves from flooding by using sea walls, trees, and wetlands [3,5].

We can also plant trees in cities to keep them cool [3,4].

Working to stop and working to adapt to climate change is crucial for tackling the climate crisis, and we can’t just do one or the other [6].


[1] Climate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, IPCC 2014. Within report see: A, page 6, and Figure SPM.2 page 7

[2] Climate Adaptation, UN Environment Programme.

[3] Climate Change 2014 Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, IPCC 2014. Within report see: Adaptation Needs and Options, Executive Summary, page 836, Table 14.1, Chapter 5 Executive Summary

[4] Urban tree design approaches for mitigating daytime urban heat island effects in a high-density urban environment, Tan et al. 2016. Energy and Buildings. See: Abstract

[5] The Effectiveness, Costs and Coastal Protection Benefits of Natural and Nature-Based Defences. Narayan et al. 2016. See: Natural defences and wave reduction

[6] Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report IPCC, Future Pathways for Adaptation, Mitigation and Sustainable Development (Topic 3). See: E.g. Introduction

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