1st Edition

The Earthscan Reader on Adaptation to Climate Change

Edited By E. Lisa F. Schipper, Ian Burton Copyright 2008
    480 Pages
    by Routledge

    480 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Climate change is now upon us. While mitigation is essential to reduce the future severity of climate change, it will take time and some effects will inevitably continue for centuries. Consequently, more attention is now being directed to adaptation as a means of reducing losses. As the importance of adaptation becomes more apparent, there is need for wider appreciation and understanding of the concept and its potential, as well as the obstacles to its effective deployment. This reader, the first of its kind, gathers some of the most significant writings on adaptation to climate change from the past two decades. Following an introduction tracing the evolution of adaptation from a biological concept into a policy objective, the book is divided into five parts: * Adaptation Theory * Adaptation, Vulnerability and Resilience * Adaptation and Disaster Risk * Adaptation and Development * Adaptation and Climate Change Policy This is the ideal collection for students, policymakers, researchers, activists and NGOs, and all people who need a solid grounding in all aspects of climate change adaptation.

    Introduction to the Reader 1. Understanding Adaptation: Origins, Concepts, Practice and Policy Part I: Adaptation Theory 2. Deconstructing Adaptation ... and Reconstructing 3. Human Adaptation to Climatic Variability and Change 4. Adaptation to What and Why? 5. An Anatomy of Adaptation to Climate Change and Variability 6. Climate Change and the Adaptation Deficit Part II: Adaptation, Vulnerability and Resilience 7. Are Coping Strategies a Cop-Out? 8. Climate Variation, Vulnerability and Sustainable Development in the Semi-Arid Tropics 9. Theory and Practice in Assessing Vulnerability to Climate Change and Facilitating Adaptation 10. A Typology of Resilience: Rethinking Institutions for Sustainable Development Part III: Adaptation and Disaster Risk 11. Adaptive Capacity: What Does it Mean in the Context of Natural Hazards? 12. A Climate Risk Management Approach to Disaster Reduction and Adaptation to Climate Change 13. Adapting to Climate Change and the Risks Associated with Other Natural Hazards: Methods for Moving from Concepts to Action Part IV: Adaptation and Development 14. Cautionary Tales: Adaptation and the Global Poor 15. Adaptation to Climate Change in the Developing World 16. Mainstreaming Adaptation in Development 17. Double Exposure: Assessing the Impacts of Climate Change within the Context of Economic Globalization Part V: Adaptation and Climate Change Policy 18. Rethinking the Role of Adaptation in Climate Policy 19. Conceptual History of Adaptation in the UNFCCC Process 20. From Impacts Assessment to Adaptation Priorities: The Shaping of Adaptation Policy 21. An Overview of Investment and Financial Flows Needed for Adaptation Index


    E. Lisa F. Schipper is a Research Fellow with Stockholm Environment Institute. Her work addresses socio-cultural aspects of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Ian Burton is a Scientist Emeritus at the Meteorological Service of Canada and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Toronto. He has served as a Lead Author of IPCC Assessments and as a consultant on adaptation to the UNFCCC Secretariat, the World Bank, UNDP, and DFID.

    "A highly recommended must-read for anybody seeking a sound understanding of the science, concepts, practice and policy pertaining to adaptation." – Hassan Virji, Director, The International START Secretariat

    "This reader, drawn from the inputs of many experts, provides essential reading for those interested in climate change and adaptation issues, including policymakers, planners, the business sector, NGOs, students and researchers, and wider civil society."Professor Coleen Vogel, BMW Chair of Sustainability, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

     "This reader is valuable for scientists, and for policymakers and decision-makers in developing countries, because it provides easy access to seminal papers on adaptation."Saleemul Huq, Head of the Climate Change Group, International Institute for Environment and Development

    "Climate change is fundamentally changing the context in which development is planned and implemented. The gap between the climate change and development communities must therefore be bridged. This book gives us the analyses and concepts that will enable the two to meet."Johan Schaar, Director, Commission on Climate Change and Development, Sweden

    "An excellent reference for scholars, NGOs and policymakers alike."International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

    "...it is refreshing to encounter a volume that dares to step outside the hackneyed narratives and fractured politics in climate change and address the ways in which human societies have been responding to its impact." – Emilian Kavalski, Political Studies Review

    "This volume would be of interest to a growing cohort of students of global environmental politics. However, it will also benefit those interested in security studies, global governance, international relations and comparative politics." Emilian Kavalski, Political Studies Review

    "The Reader provides some useful insights into the conceptual and theoretical consideration of adaptation...It will inevitably find a place in many university libraries throughout the world"Ian Fry, RECIEL

    "By embracing a variety of scholarly perspectives, including from the development, disaster-risk, and climate-policy community, and by offering theoretical as well as practical approaches, the book enables a foray into the thicket of adaptation research." – Lena Donat, Edinburgh Law School