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Letras Verdes, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios Socioambientales

On-line version ISSN 1390-6631


ISLAS-VARGAS, Maritza. Adaptation to Climate Change: Definition, Subjects and Disputes. Letras Verdes [online]. 2020, n.28, pp.9-30.  Epub Sep 30, 2020. ISSN 1390-6631.

Unlike mitigation, which has been the core of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 1995, adaptation has been slowly incorporated into the international agenda. The poor results of the mitigation policies and the more destructive climate change impacts nowadays give climate change adaptation a privileged place in political discourse and in academic literature as a desirable and necessary goal. This article discusses that idea. Based on a review of the authors who contributed to the genesis of adaptation thinking, the origin of the concept, its first uses in evolutionary biology and its subsequent incorporation into the literature and policy on climate change of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are traced, in order to recover the critique from Latin American and anglophones authors to the use of biological categories to explain social processes, as well as the multiplicity of projects and interests that are legitimized and adopted in the name of adaptation. Finally, it is suggested to rethink the usefulness of adaptation from a transdisciplinary perspective, that replaces biological reductionism and commits itself to socio-environmental justice.

Keywords : adaptation; climate change; development, mitigation; vulnerability.

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