IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

7.8 Interaction of mitigation technologies with vulnerability and adaptation

Industry’s vulnerability to extreme weather events arises from site characteristics, for example coastal areas or flood-prone river basins (high agreement, much evidence). Because of their financial and technical resources, large industrial organizations typically have a significant adaptive capacity for addressing vulnerability to weather extremes. SMEs typically have fewer financial and technical resources and therefore less adaptive capacity. The food processing industry, which relies on agricultural resources that are vulnerable to extreme weather conditions like floods or droughts, is engaging in dialogue with its supply chain to reduce GHGs emissions. Companies are also attempting to reduce vulnerability through product diversification (Kolk and Pinkse, 2005).

Linkages between adaptation and mitigation in the industrial sector are limited. In areas dependent on hydropower, mitigation options that reduce industrial electricity demand will help in adapting to climate variability or change that affects water supply (Subak et al., 2000). Many mitigation options (e.g., energy efficiency, heat and power recovery, recycling) are not vulnerable to climate change and therefore create no additional adaptation link. Others, such as fuel switching can be vulnerable to climate change under certain circumstances. As the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season demonstrated, the oil and gas infrastructure is vulnerable to weather extremes. Use of solar or biomass energy will be vulnerable to both weather extremes and climate change. Adaptation, the construction of more weather resistant facilities and provision of back-up energy supplies could reduce this vulnerability.