Climate actions often fall into one of two categories: mitigation and adaptation. This separation has led to the misinformed view that addressing climate change means pursuing either mitigation or adaptation. This divide is counterproductive and dangerous, especially for communities that are very vulnerable to climate impacts. The reality is that adaptation and mitigation are two sides of the same coin. Both strategies complement each other, and although they present different challenges, the end goal is the same.
Where mitigation strategies fail to reach emissions containment targets, climate resilience will be essential to lessen the impacts of climate change and pave the way for our survival, along with the rest of the Earth’s inhabitants.
The more emissions we reduce right now, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes we can no longer avoid. Yet it is important to keep in mind that some strategies can simultaneously incorporate both adaptation and mitigation. Protecting coastal wetlands, decentralizing energy distribution, and practicing agroforestry are some ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It is essential to acknowledge that approaches to climate action and justice are not black or white, and more often than not, it is beneficial to take a diversified and creative approach to different situations.
So, we see that climate change adaptation and mitigation are interrelated and work hand-in-hand. While we plan to curb future occurrences of climate change using mitigation strategies, we survive the present by adjusting to an expected effect of climate change or one that has already happened using adaptation strategies.
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