What is effective climate adaptation? Case studies from the Least Developed Countries

Sejal Patel and Binyam Yakob Gebreyes
Posted on: 4/22/2021 - Updated on: 4/27/2021

Posted by

Kathryn Braddock



The Paris Agreement aims to limit the global temperature increase to under 2°C — and towards 1.5°C — above pre-industrial levels. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that the global community needs to act now on climate change. To shift towards a 1.5°C pathway, the next 12 years are critical: we need radical change and we must address the world’s vast economic disparity.

As countries prepare to update and implement their national pledges for achieving the Paris Agreement goals, understanding ways to effectively adapt to climate change is more urgent than ever. This is particularly so for LDCs, who are on the frontline of climate impacts.

In September 2019, the LDC Group presented ‘LDC 2050 Vision: towards a climate-resilient future’ at the Climate Action Summit in New York. Developed over two years and based on an extensive evidence review, this vision puts all LDCs on climate-resilient development pathways by 2030 and delivering net-zero emissions by 2050.

At the summit, the group also launched the LDC Initiative for Effective Adaptation and Resilience (LIFE- AR), which aims to develop effective, longer-term climate adaptation interventions and investments for resilient development in LDCs. Alongside two other long-term LDC initiatives, LIFE-AR takes a whole-of-society approach to bringing about change. Seeking to identify positive national lessons to amplify South-South learning and good practice, it has gained traction from governments and the private sector.

Drawing from the first-hand experience of international and national processes and desk research of case studies highlighted in the LDC evidence review, this paper explores how the adaptation narrative has developed in the international process, presents key LDC Group learnings from adaptation in current practice, and examines how the global dialogue and LDC national practice intersect to influence the scope and delivery of adaptation interventions. We hope it will contribute to the ongoing conversation around effective adaptation and that it will help policymakers and climate adaptation experts better understand and respond to adaptation priorities.