27 May 2020
The article Loss and Damage and limits to adaptation: recent IPCC insights and implications for climate science and policy in Sustainability Science reviews insights and presents implications for science and policy derived from recent publications by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and two multi-authored books of which one, Loss and Damage from Climate Change, has been co-led by IIASA Risk and Resilience Program researchers Reinhard Mechler, Thomas Schinko and Joanne Linnerooth-Bayer.
The discussion shows how emerging evidence on hard and soft adaptation limits in various systems, sectors and regions holds the potential to further build momentum for climate policy to live up to the Paris ambition of stringent emission reductions and to increase efforts to support the most vulnerable. In terms of policy recommendations, the authors suggest that Loss&Damage policy may want to consider actions to extend soft adaptation limits and spur transformational, that is, non-standard, risk management and adaptation, so that limits are not breached. This could mean extending financial, technical, or legal support to affected communities or countries for instances where hard limits are transgressed.
Overall, the authors suggest that research is increasingly getting ready to provide robust evidence on critical and relevant risks in the most vulnerable countries and communities as well as evaluate options for reducing barriers and limits to adaptation. Many of the contributors to the paper are authors for IPCC’s upcoming 6th assessment report, which means that further insight can be expected from the report scheduled to be released in late 2021.
Last edited: 28 May 2020
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