Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Adaptation 'needs to move up the agenda'

Nadya Anscombe in Environmental Research Web: Adaptation urgently needs to move up the climate change agenda, according to Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office in the UK. "Talking about adaptation to climate change has for a long time been frowned upon as it is seen as giving up on mitigation," Betts told environmentalresearchweb. "But people need to wake up to the fact that we are already locked into a certain amount of climate change and we need to make sure we are prepared for the consequences."

Betts is concerned that there is a tendency in industry to design products and infrastructure based on past data for specifications such as resilience to temperature or risk of flooding. "Many companies focus only on reducing their carbon footprint and don't realise they also need to think about adaptation," said Betts.

Betts believes it is the role of the media, climatologists and policymakers to make sure that the need for adaptation moves up the agenda and that people are not so distracted by mitigation alone.

"But good adaptation strategies can only be designed if information on climate change projections is presented correctly," said Betts. "To keep mitigation at the top of the agenda, there has been a tendency to talk about disasters and ignore the uncertainty in many of the predictions or even the positive aspects of climate change." …

Shot of a Swiss Army knife by Jonas Bergsten

No comments: