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Spotlight On: Climate Risk, Adaptation and Resilience

intro

Extreme weather events are increasing in frequency and severity. 85 percent of the world population is experiencing the impacts of climate change, with 40 percent deemed to be highly vulnerable because of their location and the circumstances in which they live. Despite the critical need for climate adaptation interventions at scale, 80 percent of climate finance flows exclusively to climate mitigation efforts, even though investing in adaptation yields outsized benefits— with each dollar invested having the potential to generate two to ten dollars or more in returns.

At Abt Global, our climate experts understand that a focus on locally led, context-specific solutions is critical to successfully scaling climate adaptation solutions and bridging the current gaps in policy, finance, and technical expertise.

Our approach combines deep expertise in climate risk assessments, geospatial analytics, and policy analysis with our global work across sectors—from health to food security and agriculture and economic growth. We partner with communities and stakeholders to identify entry points for action and develop evidence-based, multi-sectoral strategies that center equity and strengthen resilience to climate impacts.


expertise

Expertise

We bring our understanding of climate hazards, exposures, and vulnerabilities to our partnerships around the globe. These include local, state, tribal, and U.S. government agencies—including USAID and EPA—as well as donors around the world including from Australia and the UK, policymakers in low- and middle-income countries, indigenous groups, and local organizations.

We prioritize locally led and gender-informed solutions to help our partners develop transformative adaptation approaches that improve the resilience of systems, communities, and people worldwide.

Our expertise includes:

  • Supporting governments with climate adaptation policy design and implementation
  • Designing climate risk and vulnerability assessments
  • Developing climate change indicators
  • Monitoring and evaluating adaptation policies and programs
  • Strengthening human and institutional capacity to collect and analyze climate data to make informed decisions
  • Geospatial analytics and mapping
  • Quantifying benefits of adaptation investments across sectors through cost-benefit and co-benefits analyses
  • Working with indigenous groups to identify and implement adaptation actions

 


Browse by Topic:
Building Climate Resilient Health Systems and Services
Catalyzing Climate Resilient Food Systems
Inclusive Policy and Planning
Climate Information and Risk Assessments

health systems

Relevant Experience

Building Climate Resilient Health Systems and Services

The health sector is on the front lines of the climate crisis, with extreme heat and cold, flooding, fires, and other extreme weather contributing to increased illnesses, changes in disease patterns, infrastructure damage, and health service disruption.

Abt leverages our expertise in health system strengthening and climate adaptation to inform and design targeted health interventions that are resilient to the impacts of climate change. We offer a comprehensive suite of solutions, from systematic identification of climate risks to the quantification of health co-benefits of climate action. Our climate-informed strategies advance all levels of health programming, from health system strengthening to addressing specific priority objectives, such as meeting the 95-95-95 HIV/AIDS targets and reducing malaria mortality and morbidity.

Climate information services for health: We help health decision-makers strengthen climate resilience in health sector operations and planning. We do this by designing processes and tools to facilitate the systematic collection, management, analysis, and use of weather and climate information to manage the short and long-term risks associated with climate change.

Climate vulnerability assessments for health: Abt brings together global health expertise with knowledge in vulnerability assessment and modeling. Abt staff have served as lead and contributing authors for several seminal U.S. government assessments of climate-related health impacts, such as The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment, released in 2016. Abt has also developed and applied models to quantify changes in mortality due to climate change, such as temperature-attributable deaths under future climate scenarios.

Planetary health and global health security: The health of the planet affects the health of all its inhabitants, including humans, just as our actions impact the planet. Understanding that human health and planetary health are inextricably connected, Abt ties together decades of leadership in infectious disease, global health security, and climate adaptation to address the impacts of the climate crisis—which range from extreme weather to increased exposure to zoonotic diseases. Our expertise in surveilling both climatological and epidemiological markers combined with our work strengthening health systems around the globe enables us to spot challenges and convene the necessary stakeholders—across sectors—to take action and move from crisis response to preparedness and resilience.

Health facility electrification: Guided by country health priorities, Abt and our partners are co-funding locally customized, well-maintained electrification and connectivity systems for health facilities across sub-Saharan Africa. Using technology such as solar panels and digital networks, we’re enabling better service quality, retention of healthcare providers, and data-driven responses to disease outbreaks and climate-related impacts on human health.

Relevant projects:

Experts

Amanda Quintana

Amanda Quintana

Climate and Health Technical Lead
Olga Faktorovich Allen

Olga Faktorovich Allen

Senior Director, Climate Integration
James White, Senior Associate/Scenitist, International Development

James White RN, MSc, PhDc

Senior Health Specialist, Global Health Security
food systems

Catalyzing Climate Resilient Food Systems

Climate change impacts food security, economic growth, and livelihoods, with extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves shortening growing seasons, increasing exposure to pests, and reducing crop yields. Greater access to weather and climate information services is a critical component of climate resilient agricultural value chains.

Abt is a leader in conducting climate vulnerability and impact assessments, identifying and comparing the costs and benefits of climate-smart agricultural strategies, building farmers’ capacity to use resilient farming practices, engaging the private sector in developing and financing solutions, developing policy and policy implementation guidance, and monitoring and evaluating adaptation policies and practices in the agricultural sector.

Climate smart agriculture: Abt’s technical assistance introduces sustainable farming practices to improve soil fertility, irrigation management, and planting practices. We partner with growers to help increase production and income by using improved inputs and decreasing post-harvest losses as well as costs associated with excessive use of water and chemicals, all with an eye toward enabling farmers to link with lucrative foreign markets.

Supporting policies and planning for food systems transformation: Sustainable and transformative agriculture practices need supportive systems and policy environments; Abt supports both. We provide on-the-ground and remote technical assistance to improve the development and communication of weather and climate information for farmers, helping them adapt to climate change and variability while evaluating the usefulness of current weather and climate information. We also support governments at all levels as they integrate climate considerations into their agriculture and biodiversity plans, including setting adaptation objectives, developing priority adaptation actions, and assessing climate finance readiness.

Food loss and waste: Abt’s support of clean energy often focuses on refrigeration in the context of health, but it applies to agriculture as well. Increased access to cold chain technologies also reduces food loss and waste, increasing farmer incomes while reducing emissions from post-harvest losses. As climate change increases agricultural risk and threatens food security, decreasing food loss and waste is critical for climate adaptation as well, ensuring that more food makes it from the farm into the hands of consumers.

Food security and nutrition: As Abt works to increase economic opportunities for low-income farmers, we also look for ways to support improved nutrition. Our work spans crop selection and planting to behavior change campaigns that include nutrition, food security, water, and sanitation. Agricultural value chains allow Abt to take a holistic view of the systems in which our partner communities live and work, and provide a jumping off point for transforming food systems so that they support health and nutrition, equitable livelihoods, climate adaptation and mitigation, and broad economic growth.

Relevant projects:

Experts

Jennifer Denno Cissé

Jennifer Denno Cissé

Director, Climate Adaptation and Resilience
Sarah Kozyn

Sarah Kozyn

Associate/Scientist
Daniel Peniston, Adaptation and Resilience Specialist

Daniel Peniston

Climate Adaptation and Resilience Specialist
inclusive policy

Inclusive Policy and Planning

Countries and municipalities around the world are driving the policies and planning needed to adapt to climate change impacts while mitigating the worst climate scenarios. Abt helps our partners create an enabling environment for transformational systems change by supporting the design of ambitious climate policies as well as the complex work of putting those policies into action through inclusive engagement, planning, and implementation.

Inclusive community-led adaptation: Abt has worked with more than 40 Native American communities to diminish risks from overdevelopment, toxic pollution, and climate change. We work closely with Indigenous communities to co-create climate adaptation programs that blend cutting-edge science with Indigenous knowledge and are tailored to meet each community’s unique needs. Around the globe, we take the same approach to supporting local and national efforts to adapt to climate change.

Politically informed support to policy stakeholders: We provide politically informed support to policy stakeholders, particularly in the context of National Adaptation Planning. We enhance the enabling environments necessary for effective climate adaptation planning by promoting policy cohesion, garnering buy-in from diverse stakeholders, and facilitating coordination across ministries at both subnational and national levels. Our approach is grounded in a deep understanding of local power dynamics, allowing us to strategically navigate and influence the policy and planning landscape for more robust climate adaptation outcomes.

Mobilizing private sector investment: Given the scale of the climate crisis, the public sector cannot meet the adaptation financing gap on its own. Abt has an extensive history of convening public-private partnerships in support of climate and health challenges, understanding that the private sector has much to offer—and gain—as we pursue solutions for adaptation. We facilitate collaboration between public and private stakeholders, enabling the mobilization of critical resources needed to build climate-resilient infrastructure, foster sustainable practices, and ensure long-term environmental and economic stability.

Co-benefits and cost-benefit analyses: Economic and financial analysis enable policymakers and stakeholders to make informed, evidence-based decisions on cost-effective climate interventions, while also understanding the benefits of climate adaptations across other sectors. Abt’s cost-benefit and co-benefits analyses evaluate the health and environmental co-benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies at various scales, enabling stakeholders to align priorities.

Relevant projects:

Experts

Jane Wilkinson

Jane Wilkinson

Principal and Head of Climate Change and Environment Practice, Abt Britain
Arun Asok

Arun Asok

Global Head, Private Capital & Impact Investing
Joe Donahue

Joe Donahue

Principal Associate
Kaylene Ritter

Kaylene Ritter

Principal Associate
climate information

Climate Information and Risk Assessments

Decision-makers need climate information to make climate-smart decisions about investments in adaptation actions and policies. Abt has a wealth of data scientists, modeling expertise, and resources to assist, including data management systems and tools, risk and vulnerability assessments, adaptation decision matrices, cost-benefit analyses, triple bottom line economic analyses, and many more. Abt also brings expertise in qualitative methods, capacity strengthening, Geographic Information Services (GIS) and climate information services.

Estimating the impacts of climate change on human health, livelihoods, and the environment: Climate impacts vary across space and time – Abt’s GIS experts help clients and local partners understand and leverage this variability, from climate impacts on natural systems to identification of vulnerable communities, livelihoods, and facilities.

Quantifying power generation, air pollutant emissions, and emission rates for electric power plants: Abt supports institutions with the collection and management of data on power generation, air pollutant emissions, and emission rates for electric power plants. Through database-related support we help users sort data by fuel type, emission type, and region—helping to connect the dots between power generation and emission rates. While renewable energy is often thought of as a climate mitigation priority, increasing access to clean and reliable energy helps communities adapt to climate change and manage the impacts of extreme weather events.

Developing climate change indicators to monitor weather extremes and disease distribution: As the climate changes, physical manifestations are all around us, from hotter summers and earlier bloom dates, to increasing ocean acidity. The effects are broad and having robust indicators to enable measurement is critical. Abt supports the development and compilation of climate change-related indicators, including Lyme disease and West Nile virus incidence, wildfires, temperature trends, and heat-related deaths. Abt also helps our partners use these data to adaptively manage our projects, facilitating evidence-based decision-making and programming.

Evaluating the development and communication of weather and climate information services for farmers: Abt assesses and evaluates the usefulness of weather and climate information and applied expertise in agricultural management practices to provide guidance for agricultural resources management and adaptation to climate change, including what, when, and how to plant to maximize farmer incomes while managing risk. To ensure that the gains from climate adaptation are equitably distributed, Abt works to develop and target adaptation strategies specifically for women’s agricultural activities.

Relevant projects:

Experts

Caroline G. Staub

Caroline G. Staub

Senior Climate Adaptation and Resilience Specialist
Santiago Enriquez

Santiago Enriquez

Climate Change and Environmental Specialist
Alexis St. Juliana

Alexis St. Juliana

Environmental Policy and Governance Associate
Gideon Singer

Gideon Singer, Ph.D.

Senior Geospatial Analyst
Pearl Zheng

Pearl Zheng

Associate/Senior Analyst, Data Science

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