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Climate Change Policy Imperatives: Let’s Not Neglect Adaptation

Each succeeding year in which the world fails to agree to forceful and binding commitments to slash releases of greenhouse gas emissions underscores the increased urgency of complementary measures to strengthen resilience to impacts of global warming that may no longer be avoided or sufficiently mitigated through just emissions reduction. Framing that dilemma in shorthand […]

Adaptation and Liability

A class-action lawsuit (complaint here) by Farmers insurance against Chicago and other Illinois cities has gotten some attention (e.g., here, here, and here) because of its connection with climate change. In simple terms, Farmers (along with other insurers and property owners) suffered a lot of damage as a result of floods in April of last year, most notably in […]

Managing Shoreline Retreat in the United States: A Three-Part Strategy

Sea-level rise will increasingly threaten coastal communities. Responses to the issue have generally been grouped into three broad categories: protect, accommodate, and retreat. All three of these strategies will be needed and deployed to varying degrees around the United States. Highly developed areas—think New York City—will require some structural protection. Certain facilities that need to […]

Ounce of Prevention, Pound of Cure, Ton of Bricks

Speaking in drought-devastated California last month, President Obama announced that his 2015 budget would include a new $1 billion Climate Resilience Fund to better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change. Having made limited progress so far in the fight to avoid climate change, we are now heading into the fight to gird […]

Valuing Conservation in the Context of Climate Change

In the twentieth century, flooding caused more deaths and property damage in the United States than any other natural disaster. Most climate models predict that flooding will worsen in the future, a prospect that is leading a growing number of communities to explore the use of natural areas as protection against extreme events. These areas […]

Using Executive Action to Promote Climate Change Adaptation

Buried in the middle of climate’s extended shout-out during the State of the Union, President Obama pledged to direct his Cabinet to “to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable […]

Climate-Ready Coastal Development? A Model from Pelican Bay, Florida

Americans love the coast.  We live there.  We vacation there.  Coastal areas generate substantial economic activity.  But building on the coast is risky—storms and sea level rise threaten coastal development.  Is there a model of development that allows us to enjoy all the ocean has to offer and yet reduces the risks from these hazards? […]

Doha in Context: A Brief History of Climate Negotiations

The 18th round of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations concluded last month in Doha. Expectations were low, but reviews have still been mixed. But for those who aren’t insiders, understanding the talks – much less identifying success or failure – is very hard because of the complexity that’s accumulated over the […]

Doha Dysfunction

You are probably used to hearing about how dysfunctional the COPs are, how much unnecessary brinksmanship they display, and how despite a couple weeks of long nights and frayed nerves, the delegates seem to come together and salvage some kind of agreement that may or may not be disappointing, but at least has some potential […]

VIDEO: How Communities And Countries Can Adapt To Climate Change

We’ve previously talked about Resources for the Future’s two-year research project on climate change adaptation in the United States, Reforming Institutions and Managing Extremes. However, while the U.S. is facing the effects of climate change, developing countries are more at risk. For a perspective on what is needed to address global climate adaptation, RFF Center […]