The Paris Agreement and Katowice Climate Package articulate a clear mandate for all parties to undertake and document adaptation progress. Yet persistent challenges have prevented substantive developments in tracking adaptation and the assessment of adaptation actions and their outcomes. Here, we provide an overview of the challenges of adaptation tracking and propose a comprehensive conceptual framework for assessing adaptation progress by governments that is scalable over time and across contexts. The framework addresses the core components of adaptation assessment (vulnerability, goals and targets, adaptation efforts, and adaptation results) and characterizes subcomponents focused on adaptation effort (leadership, organizations and policy). In particular, we highlight how critical insights can be uncovered by systematically tracking policy efforts over time, and discusses novel approaches to data collection.
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Journal peer review information: Nature Climate Change thanks Nathan Engle, Tim Smith and other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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The collaboration has been funded by SSHRC, CIHR and Yale-NUS. R.B.’s contribution was partly funded through NWO-VENI (451-17-006-4140). Special thanks to S. Coggins for contributions to the case-study. The funders had no role in the conceptualization, design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.