With 6 days to go before the COP21 takes place in Paris,
let’s do some serious talk on climate adaptation and mitigation
with Roxanne Low from Malaysian Youth Delegation.
The terms “adaptation” and “mitigation” are two important terms that are fundamental in the climate change debate. The IPCC defined adaptation as adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderate harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Similarly, Mitchell and Tanner (2006) defined adaptation as an understanding of how individuals, groups and natural systems can prepare for and respond to changes in climate or their environment. According to them, it is crucial to reducing vulnerability to climate change. While mitigation tackles the causes of climate change, adaptation tackles the effects of the phenomenon. The potential to adjust in order to minimize negative impact and maximize any benefits from changes in climate is known as adaptive capacity. A successful adaptation can reduce vulnerability by building on and strengthening existing coping strategies.
In general the more mitigation there is, the less will be the impacts to which we will have to adjust, and the less the risks for which we will have to try and prepare. Conversely, the greater the degree of preparatory adaptation, the less may be the impacts associated with any given degree of climate change. For people today, already feeling the impacts of past inaction in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation is not altogether passive, rather it is an active adjustment in response to new stimuli. However, our present age has proactive options (mitigation), and must also plan to live with the consequences (adaptation) of global warming.
The idea that less mitigation means greater climatic change and consequently requiring more adaptation is the basis for the urgency surrounding reductions in greenhouse gases. Climate mitigation and adaptation should not be seen as alternatives to each other, as they are not discrete activities but rather a combined set of actions in an overall strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate mitigation is any action taken to permanently eliminate or reduce the long-term risk and hazards of climate change to human life, property. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines mitigation as: “An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.” Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Climate adaptation refers to the ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to moderate potential damage, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with the consequences. The IPCC defines adaptation as the, “adjustment in natural or human systems to a new or changing environment. Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities. Various types of adaptation can be distinguished, including anticipatory and reactive adaptation, private and public adaptation, and autonomous and planned adaptation.”
This is quite a serious post,
truly reflecting how seriously climate change can affect us.
Do look foward to COP21, people,
as it’s our responsibility in addressing this serious issues.