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The new buzzwords in climate research circles are vulnerability and adaptation. But as with much of the discussion on climate change, these words have become so dense that their meaning is lost on all but the most involved.

In this editorial, Sunita Narain, director of India’s Centre for Science and Environment, wonders why the climate debate has shifted away from mitigation. Instead it is focusing on how the poor are ‘vulnerable’, and how scientists can find ways to help them ‘adapt’ to the new de-stabilised climate regime.

She urges the Indian government to place the debate of vulnerability in the context of the urgent need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the rich, and avoid making the poor pay the costs for adaptation.

Link to full Down To Earth editorial

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