Climate change adaptation definitions


A range of 'climate change adaptation' definitions

Adaptation has been defined in different ways.

  • The UNFCCC defines it as actions taken to help communities and ecosystems cope with changing climate condition.
  • The IPCC describes it as adjustment in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
  • The UN Development Program calls it a process by which strategies to moderate, cope with and take advantage of the consequences of climatic events are enhanced, developed, and implemented.
  • The UK Climate Impacts Program defines it as the process or outcome of a process that leads to a reduction in harm or risk of harm, or realisation of benefits associated with climate variability and climate change.
  • NCCARF regards it as consisting of actions undertaken to reduce the adverse consequences of climate change, as well as to harness any beneficial opportunities.
  • The Victorian Government says adapting to climate change is about taking deliberate and considered actions to avoid, manage or reduce the consequences of a hotter, drier and more extreme climate and to take advantage of the opportunities that such changes may generate.