In this brief, we argue that adopting a transboundary view of climate risk, which explicitly recognises the interconnections between people, ecosystems and economies in a globalised world, changes the scope and nature of the adaptation challenge, and creates opportunities to reinvigorate international cooperation on adaptation. Specifically, the UNFCCC remains a critical space for coordinating global action on climate change, including building resilience and adapting to the adverse effects of a warmer world. In this respect, the outcomes of UNFCCC negotiations are important for understanding the progress made to date on adaptation, as well as for highlighting gaps, or framing and steering the conversation in new directions. Global negotiations on climate change therefore have a key role to play in adopting and implementing a transboundary framing of climate risk, though other non-climate conventions and processes can play important roles as well.
We therefore review recent progress in the international climate negotiations in order to set up a discussion in the second half of the brief about how progress in meeting the global challenge of adaptation might be achieved.