We are going to hear a lot more about adaptation in the months ahead, primarily because we are committed to certain levels of warming due to the current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere. We are currently at 1.3° of warming and will likely breach 1.5° in 2026-2030
When considering the topic of adaptation, it is crucial to understand that there are limits to adaptation.
Work is being done on having a better understanding of what these limits are. For example, in this commentary entitled Limits of adaptation the researchers make the following observation:
“Many communities in highly vulnerable regions — such as the Arctic — are already facing limits in their capacity to adapt, and losses that are difficult to compensate for. As climate change accelerates, increasingly more communities, regions and sectors will begin to approach these limits.”
“We need to be aware of this gathering storm of crises, the potential for changes in risk and behaviour at limits and the likelihood that those changes will generate challenging debates. Researchers need to begin making progress in predicting and anticipating adaptation limits, and policymakers need to start making plans for managing the consequences of exceeding adaptation limits.”
What about your business? Leadership teams would be wise to consider what their individual adaptation limits are and what course of action to take should reaching those limits seem inevitable.
The process of understanding limits all starts with using the best available evidence, including science, data and local knowledge to understand the risks associated with climate change in your area as well as impacts on your supply chains.
How far are you down this path?