IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

18.1.3 Structure of the chapter

Based on the available literature and our current understanding of differences, similarities and complementarities between adaptation and mitigation (see Section 18.1.2), this chapter distinguishes between four types of inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation:

  • Adaptation actions that have consequences for mitigation,
  • Mitigation actions that have consequences for adaptation,
  • Decisions that include trade-offs or synergies between adaptation and mitigation,
  • Processes that have consequences for both adaptation and mitigation.

The chapter is structured as follows. Section 18.2 summarises the knowledge relevant to this chapter that was presented in the TAR. Section 18.3 frames the challenge of deciding when, how much, and how to adapt and mitigate as a decision-theoretical problem, and introduces the differing roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and the scales on which they operate. Section 18.4 then assesses the existing literature on trade-offs and synergies between adaptation and mitigation, including the potential costs of and damage avoided by adaptation and mitigation, as well as regional and sectoral aspects. Following the above typology of inter-relationships, Section 18.5 provides examples of complementarities and differences as they appear from the literature, thus providing an assessment of possible elements of a climate policy portfolio. Section 18.6 presents adaptation and mitigation within the context of development pathways, thus providing the background against which policy-makers and practitioners operate when acting on climate change. Section 18.7 assesses the literature on elements for effective implementation of climate policy that relies on inter-relationships between adaptation and mitigation. Finally, Section 18.8 outlines information needs of climate policy and priorities for research.