Assessing policy robustness of climate change adaptation measures across sectors and scenarios
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Recent research has increasingly focussed on whether long-term policies for adaptation to climate change are robust given uncertainties about future climate change, technological advances and alternative socio-economic development pathways. The aim of this study was to examine whether adaptation responses are ‘robust’, by looking at whether they reduce vulnerability to climate and socio-economic changes for a selection of ecosystem services across scenarios and two spatial scales: Europe (EU27 plus Norway and Switzerland) and a case study in Scotland. Outputs of the CLIMSAVE Integrated Assessment Platform (IAP) for multiple land-based sectors were used to test whether clusters of adaptation options referred to as policy archetypes reduced vulnerability to climate and socio-economic change for ecosystem service indicators related to biodiversity, flooding, water exploitation, land use diversity, land use intensity and food provision. The results show that the People-based Adaptation archetype is the most robust. This is because it reduces vulnerability by increasing coping capacity (people learn and build networks) and not only by reducing the impacts of climate and socio-economic change. By allowing comparative levels of vulnerability to be explored across sectors and scenarios, the CLIMSAVE approach provides a flexible tool for decision-makers and other stakeholders to increase understanding of which mixes of adaptation measures are robust responses to climate change.
KeywordsEcosystem Service Climate Scenario Adaptation Measure Coping Capacity Vulnerable People
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement No. 244031 (The CLIMSAVE Project; Climate change integrated assessment methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in Europe; www.climsave.eu). CLIMSAVE is an endorsed project of the Global Land Project of the IGBP. We thank George Cojocaru and Cristina Savin for running the IA platform to produce the results reported here and Julia Wesely, Christoph Campregher and Daniela Fuchs for assistance in preparing and analysing the policy archetypes.
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