As development and adaptation are closely intertwined, assessing the benefits of adaptation by focusing only on how it reduces climate impacts could lead to misleading policy advice. In some cases, trying to minimize climate impacts could lead to inferior outcomes. It is preferable to explore how policies influence the absolute level of metrics of interest in scenarios with climate change rather than to focus on how they influence incremental climate impacts.
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We thank the RKR-Living standards group from Working Group II of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (Chapter 16), who inspired us to initiate this study. We also thank J. Rentschler for his valuable inputs to an earlier version of this manuscript.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Peer review information Nature Climate Change thanks Francis Dennig and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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Jafino, B.A., Hallegatte, S. & Rozenberg, J. Focusing on differences across scenarios could lead to bad adaptation policy advice. Nat. Clim. Chang. 11, 394–396 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01030-9