Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Adaptive development

Adaptive development mitigates climate change risks without negatively influencing the well-being of human subjects and ecosystems by using incentives, institutions, and information-based policy interventions to address different components of climate risks.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Prices vary by article type



Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Climate risks and adapative development responses.


  1. Ayers, J. M. & Huq, S. Dev. Policy Rev. 27, 675–692 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Conway, D. & Mustelin, J. Nature Clim. Change 4, 339–342 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Smith, J. B. et al. Clim. Policy 11, 987–1000 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Burton, I. & May, E. IDS Bull. 35, 31–37 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Parpart, J. L. & Veltmeyer, H. Can. J. Dev. Stud. 25, 39–59 (2004).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Kunreuther, H. et al. Nature Clim. Change 3, 447–450 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Development and Climate Change (World Bank, 2010).

  8. Massey, E., Biesbroek, R., Huitema, D. & Jordan, A. J. Glob. Environ. Change 29, 434–443 (2014 ).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Klein, R. J. et al. Climatic Change 84, 23–44 (2007).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Lempert, R. J. & Schlesinger M. E. Climatic Change 45, 387–401 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Hultman, N. E., Hassenzahl, D. M. & Rayner, S. Ann. Rev. Environ. Resour. 35, 283–303 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Bankes, S. C. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 99, 7263–7266 (2002).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Escobar, A. in Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World Ch. 1 (Princeton Univ. Press, 1995).

    Google Scholar 

  14. Roberts, J. T. & Parks, B. C. A Climate of Injustice: Global Inequality, North-South Politics, and Climate Policy (MIT Press, 2007).

    Google Scholar 

  15. Berrang-Ford, L., Ford, J. D. & Paterson, J. Glob. Environ. Change 21, 25–33 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Huggel, C., Stone, D., Auffhammer, M. & Hansen, G. Nature Clim. Change 3, 694–696 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Eakin, H. C., Lemos, M. C. & Nelson, D. R. Glob. Environ. Change 27, 1–8 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Rijkers, B. & Söderbom. M. World Dev. 45, 119–136 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. IPCC Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2012).

  20. Watts, M. J. Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria Vol. 15 (Univ. Georgia Press, 1983).

    Google Scholar 

  21. Agrawal, A., Perrin, N., Chhatre, A., Benson, C. S. & Kononen, M. WIREs Clim. Change 3, 565–579 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Forsyth, T. & Evans, N. World Dev. 43, 56–66 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Alary, V. et al. World Dev. 62, 125–137 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Lemos, M. C. & Agrawal, A. Ann. Rev. Env. Res. 31, 297–325 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Agrawal, A., Wollenberg, L. & Persha, L. Glob. Environ. Change 29, 270–280 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Arun Agrawal.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Agrawal, A., Carmen Lemos, M. Adaptive development. Nature Clim Change 5, 185–187 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing