August 26, 2019
An article co-authored by Meaghan Daly, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, was recently published in the journal Nature Climate Change, a monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering all aspects of research on global warming.
The piece, titled “Is Adaptation Success a Flawed Concept?” argues that efforts to develop universal measures of climate change adaptation are misguided.
The article addresses the United Nations 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which sets out global climate adaptation goals and asks nations to assess the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation measures. How best to do so remains a fundamental challenge for many countries.
In contrast to developing standardized evaluation metrics for adaptation, the authors propose the need for alternative measures that focus on foundational societal capacities that will be needed to effectively respond to climate change.
Those measures include increased access to education, health care, technology and strengthened social support.
The authors conclude that “efforts of the scientific and international communities would be better spent understanding how to build, support and measure capabilities of communities.”
According to the authors, those capabilities can enable adaptive capacity for climate change and would be more effective than trying to develop a universal definition of adaptation success.