Integrating mitigation and adaptation into climate and development policy: three research questions

TitleIntegrating mitigation and adaptation into climate and development policy: three research questions
Publication TypeTyndall Working Paper
SeriesTyndall Centre Working Papers
Tyndall Consortium Institution


Secondary TitleTyndall Centre Working Paper 40
AuthorsKlein, R., L. Schipper, and S. Dessai
Year of Publication2003

The potential for developing synergies between climate change mitigation and adaptation has become a recent focus of both climate research and policy. Presumably the interest in synergies springs from the appeal of creating win-win situations by implementing a single climate policy option. However, institutional complexity, insufficient opportunities and uncertainty surrounding their efficiency and effectiveness present major challenges to the widespread development of synergies. There are also increasing calls for research to define the optimal mix of mitigation and adaptation. These calls are based on the misguided assumption that there is one single optimal mix of adaptation and mitigation options for all possible scenarios of climate and socio-economic change, notwithstanding uncertainty and irrespective of the diversity of values and preferences in society. In the face of current uncertainty, research is needed to provide guidance on how to develop a socially and economically justifiable mix of mitigation, adaptation and development policy, as well as on which elements would be part of such a mix. Moreover, research is needed to establish the conditions under which the process of mainstreaming can be most effective. Rather than actually developing and implementing specific mitigation and adaptation options, the objective of climate policy should be to facilitate such development and implementation as part of sectoral policies. Finally, analysis needs to focus on the optimal use and expected effectiveness of financial instruments, taking into account the mutual effects between these instruments on the one hand, and national and international sectoral investments and official development assistance on the other.

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