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Beyond borders: the need for strategic global adaptation

Ian Burton

Opinion paper, 2 pages

The ‘adaptation is local’ mantra is no longer valid. Climate impacts are pervasive, inevitably crossing geographic and political boundaries. And they will be severe. Some top scientists now say we should prepare for a rise in global mean surface temperature of 4 °C – even though most impact and adaptation research is based on 2 °C. What will this mean for adaptation? We need to move far beyond measures like National Adaptation Plans of Action. The ramifications of this new scenario are much more than physical and biological: there are significant socioeconomic and geopolitical implications on a par with those of mitigation. Adaptation must be understood, negotiated and financed in that light.

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