The United Nation’s Climate Change video documentary best captures what climate adaptation is and what it entails through inspiring stories of communities adapting to the effects of climate change and interviews with climate experts.
The emission of greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere is causing changes in the climate. The warming of air, land, and ocean is bringing in more extreme and intense weather events such as tropical storms, droughts, and flooding. Consequences of climate change include sea-level rise, reduced food production, plant and animal life, and harm to ecosystems.
Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, says that the pillars of the global climate change convention are adaptation and mitigation. She says that it is our generation’s responsibility to do both.
“Mitigation is a means to reduce greenhouse gas to allow adaptation in the most vulnerable communities to be possible and effective. Climate adaptation is an invitation for us to change our behaviour, consumption and production patterns that we’ve had for 100 to 150 years that are no longer sustainable,” Figueres says in the video.
Adaptation responds to the risks, while at the same time building future resilience.
However, the speed of climate change is faster than vulnerable populations and ecosystems can cope with and adapt to, the video says.
Juan Pablo Hoffmaister, Co-chair of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, defines resilience as giving the capacity and enabling society, ecosystems to be able to bounce back and recover from change through learning and exchange of it.
Climate change should also be considered in infrastructure planning and development. The effects of climate change like sea-level rise, flooding, storm intensity can put infrastructure and development at high risk that could potentially result in huge economic loss. Climate change data and projections should be included in infrastructure and development planning to avoid costly damages in the future.
Climate change is global while adaptation is local, explains Ms Figueres in the video. She adds that adaptation measures should be specific to the circumstance and impact the community is experiencing.
Click on the play button to watch the “Adapting to a changing climate” video: