United Nations/Vimeo
The world according to climate change: still from a United Nations–produced video highlighting the risks and potentials for adaptation.

6 Recommendations for Adapting to Climate Change, From the United Nations Report


4. Consider Moving From Incremental Change to Transformative Change

Changing slowly is workable up to a point, the UN report said, but at some juncture it must give way to a paradigm shift.

“While no-regret, low-regret and win-win strategies have attracted most attention in the past and continue to be applied, there is increasing recognition that an adequate adaptive response will mean acting in the face of continuing uncertainty about the extent of climate change and the nature of its impacts, and that in some cases there are limits to the effectiveness of incremental approaches,” the UN report said. “While attention to flexibility and safety margins is becoming more common in selecting adaptation options, many see the need for more transformative changes in our perception and paradigms about the nature of climate change, adaptation and their relationship to other natural and human systems.”

5. Use Local Knowledge, Especially Traditional

This is already being done, and two of the examples given in the UN report involve working with tribes. In California, the Pinoleville Pomo Nation is working on solar power and related issues along with universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and governmental departments of housing and urban development, the UN said. In addition, on reservation lands in the western United States, the UN cited work on health, water supplies and environment with the help of universities and affiliated nongovernmental organizations, tribal offices federal agencies.

6. Engage the Private Sector Along With Local Governments and Civic Groups

The UN report points out that the private sector, as a holder of money reins in many cases, can be key players in forming adaptation strategies. Likewise local governments, civil organizations and NGOs can play a part but often lack resources. The trick, the report said, is to get them all to understand they are stakeholders with the same interests—though coming at these interests from varying perspectives—and get them to work together. 


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Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
I'll play the Devil's Advocate (or the Conservative denier): "Experts are just elitists and climate change is just a theory."