We live in a world where the climate has changed and will continue to change. In order to limit catastrophe and create positive futures, we need to transform our foundational systems to meet this reality. Because solving the climate crisis requires deep coordination across multiple stakeholders that are spread out across the globe, we can’t assume that we will meet our climate targets and must plan for systemic transitions. Not only do we need to work to mitigate the more extreme possibilities of climate change, but we also need to build the capacity for adaptation and resilience in the face of an expanding climate crisis. The economy that allows us to meet these needs is called the adaptation economy. The adaptation economy is the sum of the work needed to make sure that the Earth remains livable for existing biological systems, while also ensuring the adaptability of human systems in a less than livable future.
We know that everything we experience today is often the result of accumulated choices that have been made by people over time. Our society's choice to use fossil fuels and clear-cut forests happened long before many of us were even born, but it is choices like these that we now live with the consequences of.