Quoted from Background Report: Climate Change and Extreme Weather: Designing Adaptation Policy – 3.0 CLIMATE ADAPTATION POLICY

Although analysts define adaptation in various ways, a common thread in this work is that it involves “adjustments”— purposive changes to practices, processes, or structures undertaken to better cope with climatic stimuli and their impacts.

Extreme weather events are one set of climatic stimuli demanding such adjustments. Every community has some inherent capacity to cope with variable weather, but extreme weather events are such significant departures from normal conditions that they threaten to exceed this “coping range”.

The risk posed by extreme weather events cannot be fully resolved through autonomous actions of individuals and organizations, and thus requires state intervention through public policy. Climate adaptation policy refers here to a course of action chosen by public authorities to mandate or facilitate adjustments to practices, processes or structures, aimed at reducing current and future impacts of extreme weather events.