The risks posed by climate change to people’s lives and livelihoods around the world are significant and hard to eliminated.
Hence, governments must take decisive action to help businesses and individuals manage these risks. This requires forward-thinking and the implementation of proactive measures that not only reduce climate risk but also promote development, reduce poverty and create a climate-resilient future.
Addressing climate change requires two approaches: reducing and stabilising the levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (“Mitigation“) and adapting to the climate change that is already occurring (“Adaptation“). By taking these actions, you can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Principles for a Climate-Resilient Future
A new report from the World Bank, “The Adaptation Principles: A Guide for Designing Strategies for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience,” outlines six universal principles to assist policymakers in planning for adaptation.
These principles correspond to common policy domains and include:
1. Building resilient foundations through rapid and inclusive development:
This principle highlights the importance of reducing poverty, increasing access to basic services, and promoting inclusive economic growth as a foundation for building resilience to climate change.
2. Assisting firms and individuals in adapting:
This principle focuses on assisting businesses and individuals in adapting to climate change by providing information, incentives, and support for the adoption of new technologies and practices.
3. Adapting land use and protecting critical public assets and services:
This principle involves adapting land use planning and management practices to reduce exposure to climate risks, as well as protecting critical public assets and services such as transportation infrastructure, water supply systems, and health facilities.
4. Enhancing people’s ability to cope with and recover from climate shocks:
This principle focuses on strengthening social protection systems, improving access to finance, and promoting disaster risk management to help people cope with and recover from climate shocks.
5. Managing financial risks associated with climate change:
This principle involves developing financial instruments such as insurance, catastrophe bonds, and contingency financing to help manage the financial risks associated with climate change.
6. Strengthening the governance of climate risk management:
This principle emphasises the importance of strengthening institutions, improving coordination across sectors and levels of government, and promoting transparency and accountability in the management of climate risks.
Ways to Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
Individuals can also contribute to efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change in a variety of ways;
- Spread the word: Encourage your friends, family, and co-workers to reduce their carbon pollution. One way to do that is by joining a global movement, which aims to inspire billion of people to take practical steps and challenge their leaders to act more boldly on climate.
- Maintain political pressure: Lobby local politicians and businesses to support efforts to reduce emissions and carbon pollution.
- Change your transportation habits: Transportation accounts for approximately one-quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Consider using public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking instead of driving alone.
- Reduce, reuse, recycle: Reduce your consumption of single-use plastics and other disposable items by reusing items whenever possible and recycling properly.
- Support renewable energy: Support renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. You can do this by choosing a green energy provider or installing solar panels on your home.
- Eat sustainably: Reduce your meat consumption by choosing locally-grown organic produce whenever possible.
- Conserve water: Fix leaks, take shorter showers, and use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Plant trees: Trees absorb carbon- dioxide while providing shade that can help reduce energy use for cooling.
- Invest responsibly: Consider the environmental impact of your investments by supporting companies that are taking action on climate change.
- Stay informed: Keep up to date with the latest developments in climate science and policy.
Strengthening the connections between climate change adaptation and mitigation policies can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of actions aimed at achieving a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. This can be accomplished by fostering linkages between policy agendas, as well as across other environmental or social policy objectives.
Collaborating on adaptation, mitigation, and finance is essential for building a climate-resilient future. By incorporating these elements into policy thinking from the outset, governments can accelerate development while also reducing vulnerability to climate change.