Adapting to climate change

I haven’t read much of the IPCC’s latest report, snappily named WGII AG5. The report itself doesn’t exist as a single document; there are instead a series of ‘final drafts’, to be consolidated over the next six months.  I have read the summary (44 pages), the rather clearer technical summary (76 pages), chapter 13 on Livelihoods and poverty (57 pages) and chapter 2 on Decision-making processes (53 pages).  Long-winded doesn’t begin to say it.  For a neat, one-page summary, try The Register.

Further note: The full document is now available as a single report here

Some years ago, I was critical of the Stern report, which put its emphasis on an unrealistic strategy of ‘mitigation’ or prevention of climate change.  This report, on ‘adaptation’,  seems much better; it is identifying the harms and risks that follow from what we know about climate change and considers how the effects can be responded to.   Chapter 2 is mainly verbiage – telling us, for example, that there are ethical issues, which I think we could probably have worked out, but not how the issues might be addressed.  Chapter 13 is much better, identifying poorer people as being more at risk and most vulnerable to adverse consequences.


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