Question: What can be done to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change?Submit Proposals: https://www.climatecolab.org/contests/2017/adaptation
Deadline: Sunday, Sep 10, 2017 at 18:00:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.
We know that there are significant potential impacts of climate change globally, and that the effects of climate change are already being experienced at the local level in communities around the world. Responding to these impacts in the short and long term presents a multitude of challenges and opportunities across various sectors, and requires critical attention from all stakeholders including government agencies, the private sector, civil society organizations, and individuals, in order to address these challenges and harness potential opportunities.
Every sector of society will face challenges related to climate change and can adopt measures to enhance its resilience to climate stressors, including high temperatures, variable precipitation and extreme weather events. Those responses that are most innovative will provide multi-sectoral benefits and can include infrastructure, new technologies, programs, and services. We encourage the development of not only sector-specific adaptation solutions, but also those that provide whole community resilience and provide wider local or regional benefits. Moreover, we welcome original approaches to more effectively disseminate information to and engage affected communities, and empower them to adjust their livelihoods and practices to be more resilient. Considering that some of the most affected locations are in developing countries, sustainable and cost effective solutions can have greater chances of being implemented and thus generate greater impact.
The inherent interconnected nature of human and natural systems implies that the effects of climate change in one area, or on one system, are likely to have cascading effects into other systems and geographies. As such, a multi-sectoral, systems approach is often needed to address climate impacts and adaptation strategies. This can sometimes feel overwhelming, but having a point of entry may help in identifying specific problems and solutions. In fact, there are many opportunities for specific points of entry to climate change adaptation, for example, using water or heat stress as a focal point in the adaptation discussion. This could offer a more tangible and relatable issue for local decision-makers and community-based planning efforts to address, while opening the door to a wider conversation about the breadth of climate change impacts and the multifaceted needs for adaptation.
The synergistic effects within climate change solutions warrant attention. One example is the food-energy-water nexus approach, which recognizes the interdependencies of water, energy, and food production in the context of climate change. It offers directions to systemize the interconnections to provide a framework for assessing the use of all resources and to manage trade-offs and synergies during adaptation process.
Recognizing the wide spectrum of impacts, sectors, and actors, this year we welcome proposals on all potential activities that address climate change adaptation. We encourage creative, systems-thinking approaches that build innovative and inclusive solutions for adapting to climate change.
‘Adaptation’ covers a wide array of issues beyond just developing practical and effective strategies for a particular context, such as planning, community engagement, financing, collaboration, mobilization, capacity building, and knowledge sharing.
Some of the key issues we’d like to highlight for the 2017 contest include the following:
- New approaches and strategies: Rising sea level, inundation, heat waves, drought and variable precipitation, extreme weather events, and the many other impacts of climate change will affect communities around the world. Therefore, we need to come up with innovative and low-cost approaches to diffuse climate-related risks and to develop new strategies that will not only enable us to cope with these impacts, but perhaps also take advantage of some of these changes to build more resilient communities.
- Identifying synergies and mainstreaming adaptation: Adaptive responses to climate change will be carried out in a context of competing priorities and constrained resources. In this regard, what synergies exist between specific adaptation initiatives and other sustainable developmental goals in areas like health, economic development, housing, water-energy-food security, education, increased access to basic services, and disaster risk reduction? How can we integrate these synergies so that adaptation is supporting other social and economic development goals? And how can we better understand the food-energy-water nexus, and operationalize the nexus in policies and practices to address challenges?
- Financing and partnerships: Adaptation to climate change requires resources, and this investment may be hard to justify against competing and more immediate pressures and threats. What sort of innovative and new financing strategies can we look into to support adaptation? How can adaptation strategies attract adequate funding? What innovative partnerships can be forged to build adaptive capacity of vulnerable communities, including increased access to knowledge, information, credit and services for climate risk management?
- Communication, education, participation and awareness (CEPA): The role of communication and awareness initiatives is critical in enabling adaptation to climate change, at various levels from policy and technical through to the general public. A free flow of information, appropriately packaged, greatly reduces resistance to change, especially with local politicians, and helps people to see the benefits of working together towards multiple social, environmental and economic objectives in the context of building a resilient future facing climate change.
- Fostering collective decision-making: Responding to climate change in most local communities in large part means responding to risks. In order to do this effectively it is necessary to understand what those risks are for everyone in the community, and for all stakeholders to work together to determine appropriate short and long-term responses.
- Promoting social equity and environmental justice: The communities and individuals that will be most affected by climate change are often the most vulnerable. Inclusive processes (e.g. to low-income residents, minorities, indigenous peoples, youths) give less-heard voices the opportunity to envision and set priorities, and influence investments, policies and programs. What steps can we take to make sure that our most vulnerable populations are heard and protected?
- Paying attention to the robustness of proposed adaptation interventions: If enough attention is not paid to understand the multi-causal interactions that shape vulnerabilities to climate change, adaptation strategies could end up increasing vulnerability to climate change impacts rather than reducing them. For example, large costly infrastructural interventions such as ‘seawalls’ can have significant maladaptive outcomes to sectors such as tourism.
Judges will be asked to evaluate proposals on the following criteria:
Feasibility of the actions proposed in the proposal. Judges with different kinds of expertise will evaluate the technical, economic, social, and political feasibility of the proposals.
Novelty of the proposal's ideas. Innovative thinking and originality in a proposal will be valued more than encyclopedic knowledge. In addition, instead of selecting a roster of Finalists that are very similar, judges will try to select a group of proposals that represent a diverse range of approaches.
Impact on climate change (for example, for mitigation actions, the amount of greenhouse gas emission reductions or for adaptation actions, the extent to which the actions counteract the effects of climate change) and desirability of other impacts (e.g. economic, social, lifestyle)
Presentation quality. Proposals that are well-presented will be favored over those that aren't. Presentation quality includes how well written a proposal is, how well it uses graphics or other visual elements, and how compelling are its artistic representations of possible future worlds (if any).
Winning proposals will be especially strong in at least one of the first three dimensions, and also well presented.
Judges will evaluate proposals, and deliberate as a group to select the Semi-Finalists, Finalists, Winners, and possibly other awardee(s) at their discretion. Judgments of desirability are also made in the final stage of the contest, by the Climate CoLab community through popular vote, and by the Judges through their selection of the Judges' Choice winner(s).
Top proposals in each contest will be awarded...
Judges’ Choice Award -- Two proposals* will be selected by the Judges to receive the Judges' Choice-- one project, and one practice.
Popular Choice Award – Received the most votes during the public voting period.
The Judges’ Choice Award and Popular Choice Award Winners will be invited to MIT (see prior Climate CoLab Conferences), join the Climate CoLab winners’ alumni, and be eligible for the $10,000 Grand Prize—to be selected from among the winners across contests.
All award Winners and Finalists will receive wide recognition and platform visibility from MIT Climate CoLab. Climate CoLab or its collaborators may offer additional awards or recognition at their discretion.
* Judges’ Choice Award(s) are allocated at the Judging panel’s discretion. In rare cases, the Judges may choose not to select awardees.
Resources for Proposal Authors
- Adaptation Clearinghouse. (n.d.). Georgetown Climate Center. Retrieved from http://www.adaptationclearinghouse.org/.
- Adaptation Knowledge Resources. (2014). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/adaptation/knowledge_resources/items/6994.php.
- Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE). (n.d.). Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange. Retrieved from http://www.cakex.org/.
- Hawken, P. (2017). Drawdown. Retrieved from http://www.drawdown.org/references.
- Bierbaum, R., Lee, A., Smith, J., Blair, M., Carter, L.M., Chapin, F.S., Ruffo, S... Seyller, E. (2014). Chapter 28: Adaptation. Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. US Global Change Research Program, 670-706. Retrieved from http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/response-strategies/adaptation#intro-section.
- Huq, S., Noble, I.R., Anokhin, Y., Carmin, J., Goudou, D., Lansigan, F.P., Osman-elasha, B., Villamizar, A., Patt, A., & Takeuchi, K. (2014). Chapter 14: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Working Group II, Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg2/.
- NOAA. (2017). Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters. NOAA National Centers for Environment Information (NCEI). Retrieved from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events/US/1980-2017.
- PreventionWeb. (n.d.). UNISDR. Retrieved from http://www.preventionweb.net/english/?logotext.
- Tenenbaum, L. (2017). Global Climate Change Effects (Regional Impacts and Current & Future Trends). NASA. Retrieved from https://climate.nasa.gov/effects/.
- Pelesikoti, N., Ronneberg, E., Nakalevu, T., & Leavai, P. (2013). Report on Adaptation Challenges in Pacific Island Countries. Secretariat for Pacific Regional Environment Programme. Retrieved from www.sprep.org/attachments/Publications/Adaptation_challenge_PICs_13.pdf.
- 100 Resilient Cities Program. (2017). Rockefeller Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.100resilientcities.org/#/-_/.
- Broto, V.C. & Bulkeley, H. (2013). A Survey of Urban Climate Change Experiments in 100 Cities. Global Environmental Change, 23: 92-102.
- Herbert, M. & Jankovic, V. (2013). Cities and Climate Change: The Precedents and Why They Matter. Urban Studies, 50: 7, 1332-1347.
- Hunt, A. & Watkiss, P. (2011). Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation in Cities: A Review of the Literature. Climate Change, 104, 13-49.
- Magee, T. (n.d.) Compilation of 300 Hands-On Field Activities for Community Based Adaptation?. The Center for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from http://www.csd-i.org/101-hands-on-cba-field-activit.
- Satterthwaite, D., Huq, S., Pelling, H.R., Reid, H. & Lankoa, P.R. (2007). Adapting to Climate Change in Urban Areas: The Possibilities and Constraints in Low- and Middle- Income Nations. International Institute for Environment and Development.
- USAID. (2014). Climate-resilient development: A framework for understanding and addressing climate change. USAID. Retrieved from https://www.usaid.gov/climate/climate-resilient-development-framework.
- Vogel, J., Carney, K.M., Smith, J.B., Herrick, C., Stults, M., O'Grady, M., St. Juliana, A.... Giangola, L. (2016) Climate Adaptation: The State of Practice in U.S. Communities. Abt Associates & Kresge Foundation. Retrieved from kresge.org/sites/default/files/library/climate-adaptation-the-state-of-practice-in-us-communities-full-report.pdf.
- World Bank. (2017). The CityStrength Diagnostic – Resilient Cities Program. World Bank Group. Retrieved from http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/brief/citystrength.
Finance & Economics
- de Perthius, C. (2011) Economic Choices in a Warming World. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
- Hsu, S.L.. (2011). The Case for a Carbon Tax: Getting Past Our Hang-ups to Effective Climate Policy. London, Island Press.
- Putt del Pino, S., Metzger, E., Prowitt, S., (2011). Adapting for a Green Economy. World Resources Institute. Retrieved from http://www.wri.org/publication/adapting-green-economy.
- UNEP. (2016). The Adaptation Finance Gap Update. UNEP. Retrieved from http://www.unep.org/sites/default/files/gapreport/UNEP_Adaptation_Finance_Gap_Update.pdf.
- Watkiss, P. & Cimato, F. (2016). The economics of adaptation and climate- resilient development: lessons from projects for key adaptation challenges. LSE. Retrieved from http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Working-Paper-235-Watkiss-and-Cimato.pdf.
- Ray, P.A., Brown, C.M. (2015). The Decision Tree for Climate Change Risk Management in Water Resources Planning and Project Design. World Bank Group. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/22544.
- USEPA. (2015). Adaptation Strategies Guide for Water Utilities. USEPA. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/crwu/learn-how-plan-extreme-weather-events.
- WHO. (2009). Vision 2030: The resilience of water supply and sanitation in the face of climate change. WHO. Retrieved from www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/vision_2030_9789241598422.pdf.
- OECD. (2012). Building Resilience for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Agriculture Sector. OECD & FAO. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/tad/sustainable-agriculture/climate-change-resilience-agriculture-workshop.htm.
- Harlan, S.L. & Ruddell, D.M. (2011). Climate Change and Health in Cities: Impacts of Heat and Air Pollution and Potential Co-Benefits from Mitigation and Adaptation. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3:3, 126-134.
- Harvey, D. (1993). The Nature of the Environment: The Dialectics of Social and Environmental Change. The Social Register, 29.
- Farah, P.D. (2015). Sustainable Energy Investments and National Security: Arbitration and Negotiation Issues. Journal of World Energy Law and Business, 8: 6. Retrieved from papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2695579&download=yes.
- Helm, D. (2013). The Carbon Crunch: How We’re Getting Climate Change Wrong – and How to Fix It. New Haven, CT, Yale University Press.
- Stern, N. (2015). Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.