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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Is the UK Adapting? What about the US?

The UK's Adaptation Sub-Committee has reported that the nation still has a long journey ahead in building a society that is resilient to climate change. In its report on the status of the nation's adaptation preparedness, the committee finds that despite evidence of growing capacity and awareness, such capacity building "is not yet systematically translating into tangible action on the ground." The report identifies a range of persistent barriers to adaptation including limited access to information on climate risk, failure by institutions to account for climate risk, market and policy barriers, and low prioritization of climate on institutional agendas.

Meanwhile, a similar report by the U.S. National Climate Adaptation Summit Committee has stressed the need for the U.S. to advance a national adaptation agenda. The committee's report synthesizes the outcomes from the National Adaptation Summit held in Washington, DC in May of 2010. Interestingly, if one compares the two reports, one finds that the U.S. is primarily focused on raising awareness of the issue across U.S. agencies and stakeholders and advocating for more research regarding climate change impacts. The UK, however, appears to be already digging into the institutional barriers that hinder the actual implementation of adaptation policies, which might cause one to think that one of these nations is perhaps further along the path in orienting itself toward the adaptation challenge.

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