Magnan, A.K., Bell, R., Duvat, V.K.E. et al. (2023). Status of global coastal adaptation. Nature Climate Change.



The state of progress towards 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 halfway 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 identify priorities transcending development levels.

  • Alexandre K. Magnan