A portfolio of adaptation and mitigation measures can diminish the risks associated with climate change

Even the most stringent mitigation efforts cannot avoid further impacts of climate change in the next few decades, which makes adaptation essential, particularly in addressing near-term impacts. Unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt [20.7].

This suggests the value of a portfolio or mix of strategies that includes mitigation, adaptation, technological development (to enhance both adaptation and mitigation) and research (on climate science, impacts, adaptation and mitigation). Such portfolios could combine policies with incentive-based approaches and actions at all levels from the individual citizen through to national governments and international organisations [18.1,18.5].

These actions include technological, institutional and behavioural options, the introduction of economic and policy instruments to encourage the use of these options, and research and development to reduce uncertainty and to enhance the options' effectiveness and efficiency [18.4.1,18.4.2]. Many different actors are involved in the implementation of these actions, operating on different spatial and institutional scales. Mitigation primarily involves the energy, transportation, industrial, residential, forestry and agriculture sectors, whereas the actors involved in adaptation represent a large variety of sectoral interests, including agriculture, tourism and recreation, human health, water supply, coastal management, urban planning and nature conservation [18.5,18.6].

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