Guidance on climate change adaptation and resilience

20th July 2022

The climate emergency and increasing use of targets such as net zero have moved many IEMA members’ work away from incremental climate change mitigation and towards transformative change. However, we need a twofold approach that encompasses both mitigation and adaptation.

While they are key practice agendas, adaptation and resilience are in many ways overshadowed by the net-zero agenda. Despite well-publicised initiatives such as the UN-backed Race to Resilience, adaptation measures and impacts may be seen as hard to quantify and less certain in timescales when compared to mitigation measures. Indeed, IEMA polling indicates that the top barriers for adaptation progress within organisations are competing priorities, often legally required or business-critical ones.

Nonetheless, climate impacts are happening and it is important that mitigation and adaptation are given a more balanced focus. Failure to do so could result in maladaptation, or even reduce the effectiveness of net-zero interventions.

Led by Kit England, Ellie Murtagh and a specially convened working group, IEMA is developing guidance to help the profession remove barriers to implementation. Sustainability practice implicitly requires an understanding of complexity, intersectionality and approaches that can integrate between agendas. The publication will give members insights, principles and information on ‘what works’, helping them to navigate and bridge complexity. It will reiterate the business case for adaptation, set out an overview of the progress made and challenges faced, and put forward practical steps that organisations can take.

The guidance is due for publication in autumn 2022. Get in touch at [email protected] if you’re interested in contributing to this project.

Image credit | Shutterstock


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