A critical review of impact of and adaptation to climate change in developed and developing economies

Authors: Nath, Pradosh1; Behera, Bhagirath2

Source: Environment, Development and Sustainability, Volume 13, Number 1, February 2011 , pp. 141-162(22)

Publisher: Springer

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Rapid change in climate is set to alter the delicate balance that exists between man and nature. It is more so for the region which are ecologically fragile. The literature to this effect points out that the poorest countries and communities are likely to suffer the most because of their geographic locations, low income and low institutional capacity, as well as their greater reliance on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture. Even if climate mitigations plans are implemented properly there will be some degree of warming due to inertia of emissions already released. As such, there is a strong consensus about the need of adaptation to changing climatic conditions. Adaptation is believed to enhance the resilience against increasing climate variability. In this backdrop, the objective of the present paper is, therefore, to systematically and critically review the existing literature on the impacts of climate change and choice of adaptations across countries and draw insights for suggesting a comprehensive policy framework particularly for developing countries in this regard. The paper finds that the role of government and civil society is crucial for enabling efficient adaptation methods. Development policies and programs having synergy effect with climate change initiatives help adapt with the changing climate better. However, the availability of clean technology in developing countries will play the decisive role in controlling their growth rate of emission. This will be made feasible only when there is a better understanding of the problem between the developed and developing world about the eminent danger arising out of climate change.

Keywords: Adaptation; Climate change; Economy; Impact; Resilience; Vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10668-010-9253-9

Affiliations: 1: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 721302, West Bengal, India, Email: pknnath@yahoo.co.in 2: Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 721302, West Bengal, India, Email: bhagirath@hss.iitkgp.ernet.in

Publication date: February 1, 2011

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