Is adaptation success a flawed concept?

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.

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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.

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Correspondence to Lisa Dilling.

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