The Paris Agreement established a global goal on adaptation and invites parties to review the effectiveness of adaptation actions. However, the measurement of adaptation success remains elusive. Focusing on the capabilities of households and governments to pursue a range of adaptation futures provides a more robust foundation.
Access optionsAccess options
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $17.75 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Tompkins, E. L., Vincent, K., Nicholls, R. J. & Suckall, N. WIREs Clim. Change 9, e545 (2018).
Berrang-Ford, L. et al. Nat. Clim. Change 9, 440–449 (2019).
Merry, S. E. Curr. Anthropol. 52, 83–95 (2011).
Rijke, J., van Herk, S., Zevenbergen, C. & Ashley, R. Int. J. River Basin Managem. 10, 369–382 (2012).
McNeeley, S. M. & Lazrus, H. Weather Clim. Soc. 6, 506–519 (2014).
Lahiri-Dutt, K. & Samanta, G. Dancing with the River: People and Life on the Chars of South Asia (Yale Univ. Press, 2013).
Nalau, J., Preston, B. L. & Maloney, M. C. Environ. Sci. Policy 48, 89–98 (2015).
Borie, M., Pelling, M., Ziervogel, G. & Hyams, K. Glob. Environ. Change 54, 203–213 (2019).
Klepp, S. & Chavez-Rodriguez, L. A Critical Approach to Climate Change Adaptation: Discourses, Policies and Practices (Routledge, 2018).
Eguavoen, I., Schulz, K., de Wit, S., Weisser, F. & Müller-Mahn, D. in Handbook of Climate Change Adaptation (ed. Leal Filho, W.) 1183–1198 (Springer, 2015).
Agrawal, A. & Perrin, N. in Adaptation to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values, Governance (eds Adger, N. et al.) 350–367 (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009).
Krause, M. The Good Project: Humanitarian Relief NGOs and the Fragmentation of Reason (Chicago Univ. Press, 2014).
Barnett, J., Lambert, S. & Fry, I. Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 98, 102–119 (2008).
Bockstael, E. & Berkes, F. Int. J. Commons 11, 799–822 (2017).
Jones, L. WIREs Clim. Change https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.552 (2018).
Goldstein, B. E., Wessells, A. T., Lejano, R. & Butler, W. Urban Stud. 52, 1285–1303 (2015).
O'Neill, S. J. & Graham, S. Geo Geogr. Environ. 3, e00028 (2016).
Crate, S. in A Critical Approach to Climate Change Adaptation: Discourses, Policies and Practices (eds Klepp, S. & Chavez-Rodriguez, L.) 241–255 (Routledge, 2018).
Pelling, M. & Garschagen, M. Nature 569, 327–329 (2019).
Sen, A. Development as Freedom (Oxford Univ. Press, 1999).
Striessnig, E., Lutz, W. & Patt, A. G. Ecol. Soc. 18, 16 (2013).
This comment evolved from a special session on adaptation success convened by the authors at Adaptation Futures 2018, the Fifth International Climate Change Adaptation Conference in Cape Town. We thank the over 100 session participants from around the world, including participants from government agencies, donors, non-governmental organizations, students, humanitarian agencies, academics, policy-makers and members of civil society. L.D. acknowledges the support of US National Science Foundation grant no. 1354542. A.P., N.S. and F.A.’s time was supported by the HI-AWARE project under Collaborative Adaptation Research Initiative in Africa and Asia with financial support from the UK Government’s Department for International Development and the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. The views expressed in this work are those of the creators and do not necessarily represent those of the UK Government’s Department for International Development, the International Development Research Centre, Canada or its Board of Governors, or UN Environment, and are not necessarily attributable to their organizations. All responsibility for the content remains with the authors.