Climate change

Adaptation to climate change


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Climate change poses serious, wide-ranging risks to economies, societies and ecosystems. These risks include: damage to coastal infrastructure, shifting patterns of infectious diseases and loss of food security.

Reducing these risks requires action to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), combined with measures to increase resilience to the impacts that occur (adaptation).

The OECD supports countries’ efforts to prepare for the effects of a changing climate by providing impartial analysis, policy advice and supporting the sharing of experiences between the public and private sectors.

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This Policy Perspectives provides key lessons learnt from recent OECD work on adaptation, including challenges and recommendations for climate adaptation, with a focus on OECD member countries. 

ADAPTATION policies and economics

OECD analysis focusses upon key areas with the integration of adaptation into policy-making, including: the role of the private sector, use of economic analysis, comparing national approaches to adaptation and mainstreaming into sectoral activities.

Countries are scaling-up their preparations for climate change: for example, the majority of OECD countries have now developed national adaptation plans and strategies. Although there have made progress in planning and implementing adaptation policies over the last decades, significant challenges remain. The OECD is helping countries to share their adaptation experiences, identify barriers and inform the development of policy solutions.

Recent work includes economic issues including the costs and benefits of adaptation, and adaptation in cities, agriculture and the water sectors.

Work at the national level has included a study of the experiences of Colombia and Ethiopia and their implications for integrating adaptation into national development planning.

ADAPTATION and development co-operation

Developing countries will be particularly affected by climate change - the OECD works to integrate effective adaptation into development co-operation through collaboration between the environment and development communities.

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change - environmentally, economically and socially. It is crucial that adaptation is included in development programmes and economic growth plans.

Moreover, as international funding targeted at adaptation increases, it important to ensure the effectiveness, equity and efficiency of adaptation interventions.

This work is led by the Task Team on Climate Change and Development Co-operation.

The main output is the guidance on integrating adaptation into development co-operation activities. This has been followed by work on monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation.

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