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Adaptation planning for climate change: concepts, assessment approaches, and key lessons

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Planned adaptation to climate change denotes actions undertaken to reduce the risks and capitalize on the opportunities associated with global climate change. This paper summarizes current thinking about planned adaptation. It starts with an explanation of key adaptation concepts, a description of the diversity of adaptation contexts, and a discussion of key prerequisites for effective adaptation. On the basis of this introduction, major approaches to climate impact and adaptation assessment and their evolution are reviewed. Finally, principles for adaptation assessment are derived from decision-analytical considerations and from the experience with past adaptation assessments.

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A preliminary version of this paper was presented at the international symposium “Global Sustainability: Social System and Technological Strategy” in Kyoto (Japan), 15–16 January 2007. I thank Professor Takamitsu Sawa and Professor Kazuhiro Ueta for inviting me to this symposium. Professor John Hay has provided very helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. The work presented here has been funded by a Marie Curie Outgoing International Fellowship of the European Commission within the Sixth Framework Programme for Research.

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Correspondence to H.-M. Füssel.

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Füssel, HM. Adaptation planning for climate change: concepts, assessment approaches, and key lessons. Sustain Sci 2, 265–275 (2007).

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