IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

Mitigation and adaptation relationships; capacities and policies

Climate change mitigation and adaptation have some common elements, they may be complementary, substitutable, independent or competitive in dealing with climate change, and also have very different characteristics and timescales [2.5].

Both adaptation and mitigation make demands on the capacity of societies, which are intimately connected to social and economic development. The responses to climate change depend on exposure to climate risk, society’s natural and man-made capital assets, human capital and institutions as well as income. Together these will define a society’s adaptive and mitigative capacities. Policies that support development and those that enhance its adaptive and mitigative capacities may, but need not, have much in common. Policies may be chosen to have synergetic impacts on the natural system and the socio-economic system but difficult trade-offs may sometimes have to be made. Key factors that determine the capacity of individual stakeholders and societies to implement climate change mitigation and adaptation include: access to resources; markets; finance; information, and a number of governance issues (medium agreement, limited evidence) [2.5.2].