The importance of ambition setting in climate resilience

Ambition setting in climate resilience is crucial as it involves co-developing a shared vision with stakeholders, fostering a sense of ownership and commitment. This is especially important for transformative adaptation, which requires significant changes to systems and structures rather than just addressing risk mitigation actions and approaches.


What is the main difference between Transformative vs. Incremental Adaptation:

  • Incremental Adaptation focuses on making gradual changes to existing systems to cope with climate impacts. While important, these changes often do not address the root causes and may have a sectoral approach.
  • Transformative Adaptation, on the other hand, involves profound, systemic shifts that fundamentally alter how regions and communities function. This type of adaptation tends to have a systemic nature, address vulnerabilities and may more easily incorporate new and long-term resilience thinking against climate change.


What fundamentals enable setting climate adaptation ambition and goals?

Setting ambitious climate adaptation goals requires a robust framework built on several key fundamentals to ensure that adaptation strategies are comprehensive, inclusive, and effective:


  • Knowledge on climatic and non-climatic information: One crucial element is the availability of risk, impact, and cross-sectoral knowledge to enable a good understanding of vulnerability and resilience of the system. Furthermore, correctly framing risks and formulating pertinent questions guide the selection of appropriate methods and tools for ambition and adaptation planning.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Involving diverse stakeholders ensures that adaptation goals reflect a broad range of perspectives and are rooted in local realities. Collective ambition, including vision setting and priority identification, fosters commitment and support for adaptation initiatives.
  • Visionary and long-term planning: Developing long-term visions for adaptation requires integrated approaches that consider current challenges, trends, critical uncertainties, and implementable changes. Methodologies, such as Theory of Change (ToC) and stakeholder involvement facilitate the creation of forward-looking and resilient adaptation strategies.
  • Integration with Existing Policies and Knowledge: Using existing policies, knowledge, and expertise strengthens efforts in climate adaptation and helps in setting ambitious goals from the start. By including climate adaptation in broader plans like sustainable development and resilience, stakeholders can find ways to set goals that match overall objectives. Drawing upon existing knowledge and frameworks enables the formulation of ambitious targets that garner consensus among stakeholders and effectively address the diverse challenges presented by climate change.


How does Pathways2Resilience incorporate ambition setting?

Pathway2Resilience incorporates ambition setting by guiding stakeholders through key steps focused on collaboration, envisioning future scenarios, and crafting a collective vision for climate resilience. Through the exploration of potential futures, the initiative identifies critical opportunities and mechanisms for transformation, allowing stakeholders to understand the way forward resilience. By fostering a shared vision among diverse stakeholders, Pathway2Resilience ensures ownership and commitment, emphasizing meaningful participation to create a sense of collective responsibility.

To further solidify commitment, the initiative seeks high-level support and activates stakeholders, creating an enabling environment for resilience-building efforts. Through engagement, exchange, and collaboration, stakeholders forge relationships and partnerships centred on common resilience objectives. Moreover, Pathway2Resilience through its capacity building program enables stakeholders to gain insights about regional resilience contexts, risks and solutions highlighting their implications in climate resilience.

Additionally, Pathway2Resilience promotes narratives of change to outline how and why desired changes will occur, drawing on a comprehensive understanding of systems and vulnerabilities. This involves identifying underlying assumptions and indicators, engaging stakeholders to validate assumptions, and ensuring a robust framework for planning and carrying out.

Furthermore, this ambition setting can be reflected in the development of flexible adaptation pathways that consider uncertainty, thereby enhancing climate resilience. Instead of constraining individuals to a rigid trajectory, these pathways facilitate dynamic decision-making based on indicators and thresholds.