Mitigation of climate change
Climate change mitigation means combating or limiting climate change by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions (including the CO₂ emissions).
The emission of greenhouse gases must be reduced in the “short” term if we want to keep climate change within reasonable limits. That is why the mitigation measures focus, first and foremost, on 2030 with a forward view to 2050.
The emissions of transport, energy efficiency in buildings (households, tertiary sector, industry, etc.) are examined for mitigation purposes.
Climate change adaptation
Adapting to climate change means adapting natural and human systems to the current and anticipated consequences of climate change.
The city and municipality must therefore first gain a picture of how vulnerable it is to climate change and then improve the ability to defend the area against its effects.
The most frequently used time horizon for adaptation is the year 2100 because there is less (international) pressure than mitigation and there will still be effects of climate change in the long term.
With regard to adaptation, aspects such as flooding, drought (and the effect thereof on matters such as agriculture or nature) and heat in the urban environment are examined. These are therefore partly the same stakeholders as those for mitigation, yet partly also different ones.
Mitigation and adaptation as flip sides of the same coin
However hard we try to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), a certain degree of climate change is unavoidable at this stage already and we must prepare for that (adaptation). On the other hand, the fact of the matter is also that the more greenhouse gases are reduced (mitigation), the easier it becomes to prepare ourselves for the consequential climate change (adaptation). It will be impossible to have an adequate adaptation policy without mitigation. As a matter of fact, the changes would be too extreme. We must therefore apply our minds to both challenges.
After all, we may not forget that mitigation and adaptation measures can sometimes reinforce one another. For example, not only does a well insulated house need less energy to heat it (mitigation), but it will also cause its occupants to experience less hindrance from a heat wave (adaptation).
However, mitigation and adaptation measures can also work against one another. For example, the installation of electrical air conditioning will cause additional CO₂ emissions, etc.
Mitigation and adaptation within FutureproofedCities
One finds both a mitigation and an adaptation part within FutureproofedCities, where you can add measures and actions to the respective sectors for both parts. Read more about adaptation and mitigation in the various sectors here!