UBC Undergraduate Research

How decisions are being made : methods in selecting adaptation actions Potter, Samantha


Adaptation to the actual and expected effects of climate change is a necessary means to reduce the impacts that are occurring now as well as increase society’s resilience to upcoming atmospheric deviations (UNFCC, 2012). Part of this process entails selecting-­‐ from an extensive list of options-­‐ the adaptation actions that are to be implemented. This paper discusses which methods local governments use when deciding this; it compares the recommendations of guidebooks, academic sources, and grey literature to the approaches actually used by local governments. It has been found that despite having a number of possible methods within the guidebooks as well as academic and grey literatures, local governments need to choose the options that can be addressed in projects which have already been taken on in other sectors. This is so as these options are easily justified; they provide co-­‐benefits that are appealing especially facing the uncertainty of not known to what extent climate change impacts will occur. There are possibilities to expand the horizons of adaptation actions that can be implemented. The first and most prudent step is getting all federal, provincial, and local governments, as well as stakeholders, and experts working together to formulate focused and small-­‐scale methods for selecting between adaptation action options. From this point, the continuation of exploiting windows of opportunities needs to occur and more funding strategies need to be developed within local governments.

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