Status of global coastal adaptation

Alexandre K. Magnan, Robert Bell, Virginie K. E. Duvat, James D. Ford, Matthias Garschagen, Marjolijn Haasnoot, Carmen Lacambra, Iñigo J. Losada, Katharine J. Mach, Mélinda Noblet, Devanathan Parthasaranthy, Marcello Sano, Katharine Vincent, Ariadna Anisimov, Susan Hanson, Alexandra Malmström, Robert J. Nicholls, Gundula Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The state of progress toward climate adaptation is currently unclear. Here, we apply a structured expert judgement to assess multiple dimensions shaping adaptation (equally weighted: risk knowledge, planning, action, capacities, evidence on risk reduction, long-term pathway strategies). We apply this approach to 61 local coastal case studies clustered into four urban and rural archetypes, to develop a locally-informed perspective on the state of global coastal adaptation. We show with medium confidence that today’s global coastal adaptation is half-way to the full adaptation potential. Urban archetypes generally score higher than rural ones (with a wide spread of local situations), adaptation efforts are unbalanced across the assessment dimensions, and strategizing for long-term pathways remains limited. The results provide a multi-dimensional and locally-grounded assessment of global coastal adaptation, and lay new foundations for international climate negotiations by showing that there is room to refine global adaptation targets and identifying priorities transcending development levels.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Climate Change
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 8 Sep 2023

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