Equity in Human Adaptation-Related Responses: A Systematic Global Review

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Growing evidence suggests that climate adaptation responses that do not incorporate equity considerations may worsen inequality and increase vulnerability. Using data from a systematic review of peer-reviewed empirical research on adaptation responses to climate change (n = 1,682), we present an assessment of how social equity is considered in adaptation across regions, sectors, and social groups. Roughly 60% of peer-reviewed literature on adaptation responses considers social equity by reporting on which marginalized groups were involved in planning or implementation. Articles on responses in Africa and Asia and those focusing on poverty reduction most frequently considered social equity. Equity was less likely to be considered in adaptation responses in Europe, Australasia, and North America, as well as in literature focused on cities. Income-based inequity was more frequently considered than gender, age, or Indigenous status. Ethnic and racial minorities, migrants, and people with disabilities were rarely considered. Attention to the levels and forms in which equity is integrated into adaptation research and practice is needed to ensure just adaptation.


© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


The complete list of articles included in the analysis, with bibliographic information, the complete raw dataset, statistical analysis results, the codebook, and figures in table form can be downloaded at https://osf.io/gb8x2/?view_only=8a38453a859d4971a7dc7e78a34d024d.



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