UK Report Outlines Key Priorities for Climate Change Adaptation

The report summarises the findings of an international events series hosted by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) last year in the run up to the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow.

The COP26 ‘adaptation and resilience events series’ showcased collaborative, locally-led, and globally relevant research aligned to the UK COP26 presidency’s adaptation loss and damage theme.

It focused on how we can respond to and prepare for the impacts of climate change in a wide range of locations across the globe.

International participants, comprising governments and policy makers, funders, businesses, and researchers from a range of disciplines concluded that:

  • there is an urgent need to accelerate more ambitious and coordinated climate adaptation action
  • strengthening links between adaptation research, policy and practice and facilitating cross-stakeholder dialogue is key for driving research into action
  • innovative and accessible finance is required from both the public and private sectors to support adaptation at a range of scales
  • reducing the impact of climate change on biodiversity and local ecosystems can enhance the ability of local communities to adapt
  • learning from responses to the COVID-19 outbreak around the scale and speed of global research collaboration and coordination achievable would support the response to climate change.

Eighteen events were co-hosted with 12 partner countries and international research teams.

The events highlighted the importance of taking multidisciplinary approaches to future climate adaptation research and ensuring equitable research partnerships.

Embedding local knowledge throughout the research and enabling co-design of solutions by local stakeholders from a range of sectors is fundamental to achieving effective and inclusive adaptation.

Monitoring, evaluation, and data sharing, with input from local communities were also cited as crucial for assessing the success of climate adaptation interventions.

The launch event took place in the UK in June 2021, with nine subsequent events co-hosted by partners across:

  • Africa
  • Latin America and in Chile
  • China
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Thailand.

A further nine thematically-focused events were organised by the research community, covering topics such as:

  • ocean and insect resilience
  • the impact of climate change on human health.

Dr. Sarah Webb, Associate Director, International at the Natural Environment Research Council, part of UKRI, said:

“This events series has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the challenges of adapting to climate change. It recommends a way ahead to help governments worldwide turn COP26 commitments into action.

“There is a clear role for UKRI to meet demand for relevant, accessible climate adaptation data and evidence. We are also embedding adaptation, collaboration and equity across all our research.”

Read the report: NERC-160322-TacklingClimateChange-AdaptationAndResilienceOpportunies-GlobalEventsReport.pdf (ukri.org)

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