We are already experiencing changes in average temperature, shifts in the seasons and an increasing occurence of extreme weather events and other climate change impacts. This trend is only set to continue with impacts felt across society, most often by those who are the most vulnerable.
Adaptation refers to any adjustment in ecological, social, or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic change and its effects or impacts. It means making changes in processes, practices, and structures to minimise potential damages and better cope with change. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity).
Adapting to climate change will be necessary regardless of how much we manage to cut our emissions, as historic emissions have already changed our climate and will continue to do so in decades to come.