We live in an interconnected world. The effects of climate change ripple out across national borders. And our adaptation actions can have consequences that cascade from country to country too.

Adaptation Without Borders is a new global partnership working to strengthen systemic resilience to these cross-border impacts.

We identify and assess transboundary climate risks and appraise the options to better manage those risks. We also support policymakers, planners and the private sector to develop climate-resilient, inclusive solutions.

Working with stakeholders worldwide to meet the global challenge of adaptation established by the Paris Agreement, we catalyse new alliances and forms of cooperation that pave the way towards a more sustainable and resilient world.

Adaptation Without Borders brings together the research capacities and convening powers of globally-recognised experts and partners from across four continents. Together, we generate the tools and tactics needed to identify, assess and manage transboundary climate risks – working towards outcomes in three strategic agendas:

  • Pathways of risk
    We advance the state of knowledge on transboundary climate risk: filling the gaps in current understanding which most constrain the capability of policymakers to act. We provide breakthrough insights on the transboundary climate risks which pose the greatest threat to our societies, economies and environments, as well as the critical pathways, such as trade and supply chains, through which they spread. We reveal tipping points and hotspots that could undermine our systemic resilience. 
  • Policy engagement
    We elevate transboundary climate risk across a number of key policy arenas, including the UNFCCC by supporting the operationalisation of the Global Goal on Adaptation and the 2023 Global Stocktake. We advocate, from an evidence-based perspective, that recognition of transboundary risk, and a reframing of adaptation as a global public good, is of paramount importance for building resilient societies in a globalised world. Such a paradigm shift could raise levels of ambition, investment and cooperation on adaptation the world over.
  • Planning and implementation
    We provide guidance, tools and support to national adaptation planners so they can manage the transboundary climate risks their countries are exposed to, and the impacts of their adaptation actions on others. We assess the potential benefits and opportunities for coordinated regional responses in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, Caribbean, Sahel and European Union. Exploring relevant governance mechanisms and legal frameworks, we aim to strengthen accountability and responsibility for managing transboundary risks, grounded in political economy approaches that reveal risk perceptions and tolerances.

In 2021, during COP26, AWB launched a new partnership with the European Commission (DG CLIMA). The EU is investing €700,000 in the partnership, which will run through 2022 and puts into practice the vision of the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, which stresses that in a deeply interconnected world, building resilience internationally is “not only a matter of solidarity, but also of open strategic autonomy and self-interest” for Europe.

The drawing below by illustrator Jorge Martin provides a visual summary of the discussion.

AWB-Drawing