It suggests that adaptation should be built on efforts to more effectively support individuals,households, and businesses as they struggle to adapt to climate change and that this should be done with a deeper awareness of the social, economic, cultural, and political factors that frame their actions, incentives, opportunities,and limitations for action.

The paper examines the climate-related adaptive capacity of people, businesses, and ecosystems and discusses their interactions, complementarities, and competition. It also looks at adaptive capacity across scales – local, national, international – and how interfaces among these scales facilitate or stand in the way of adaptation.

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