You have completed the topic Adaptation and Mitigation.
Let us now summarize the key takeaways from this topic.
Human systems interact with earth systems in numerous
Vulnerability is defined as a combined measure
of threats to a particular system.
Vulnerability is the degree to which a system
is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, the adverse
effects of climate change, including climate variability
Adaptation to climate change refers to adjustment
in natural or human systems in response to actual
or expected climatic stimuli or their effects, which
moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Mitigation means technological change and substitution
that reduces resource inputs and emissions per unit
of output with respect to climate change. In other
words, mitigation means implementing policies to
reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks.
Vulnerability is a function of - the character,
magnitude and rate of climate variation to which
a system is exposed; its sensitivity; and adaptive
Vulnerability = f (Exposure,
Sensitivity, Adaptive Capacity)
Exposure is defined as degree of climate stress
upon a particular unit analysis; it may be represented
as either long-term change in climatic conditions,
or by changes in climate variability, including
the magnitude and frequency of extreme events.
Sensitivity is the degree to which a system
will be affected by, or responsive to, climate
Adaptive capacity refers to the potential
or capability of a system to adjust to climate
change, including climate variability and extremes,
to moderate potential damages, to take advantage
of opportunities, or to cope with consequences.
There is a difference in the degree of vulnerability
across systems, and even within a particular system;
this is known as differential vulnerability.
IPCC identifies seven criteria from literature
that can be used to identify key vulnerabilities.
Based on the timing, goal and motive of their
implementation, adaptation measures can be classified
Reactive or Anticipatory
Planned or Autonomous
With reference to the sectors considered, adaptation
measures can be classified as
There are mainly two types of approaches to â€˜no
Actions that reduce existing vulnerability
Mainstreaming climate change into existing
The first step in mainstreaming is to understand
how climate change is linked to the development
challenge or the sector under consideration.
Integration of climate change aspects into sustainable
development policies and into the decision-making
process enables us to
Address the problem cost-effectively and at
the scale required
Ensure that duplication of efforts and wastage
of scarce resources is avoided
To design an effective mitigation strategy, we
need to know the GHG emission patterns, available
mitigation options, role of technology, and role
of market-based mechanisms.
In December 1997, 160 countries met in Kyoto,
Japan and reached a historic agreement to reduce
GHG emissions; this agreement is known as the Kyoto
The Kyoto Protocol introduced binding emission-reduction
targets and they have been specified differently
for different industrial nationsâ€”8% below the 1990
emission levels for the European Union, 7% for the
US, and 6% for Japan.
The UNFCCC divides countries into three categories
based on their commitment to reduce emissions -
Annex I, Annex II, and Non-Annex I Parties or Countries.
To meet the emission targets in a cost-effective
manner, the Kyoto Protocol has introduced the following
flexible market-based measures.
CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)
JI (Joint Implementation)
Reducing GHG emissions by mitigation can result
in large and rapid health benefits from reduced
air pollution, which may also offset a substantial
part of the mitigation costs.
Agriculture is a prime source of the three major
GHGs, namely, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous
In the transport sector, GHG emissions can be
reduced by employing alternative fuels, using efficient
engines, and so on.
In the building sector, GHG emissions can be reduced
by employing efficient lighting, cooking, waste
and water management techniques; using energy-efficient
materials, and so on.
In the energy sector, GHG emissions can be reduced
by employing renewable sources of energy, such as
solar power, wind power, hydropower, biogas, and
Two important sources of technological change
for mitigation are as follows.
Research and development
JI and CDM are the two project-based mechanisms,
which feed into the Carbon Market.
Changes in lifestyle and behaviour patterns can
contribute widely to climate change mitigation.