Climate Resilience: A Holistic Approach to Climate Change

alt=landscape shot of a garden with a windmill and city in background

Adaptation + Mitigation + Sustainability: The Formula for Climate Resilience

Addressing climate change is a complex task that needs a comprehensive strategy. It's crucial to find ways to adapt to our changing environment, especially in areas most affected by climate impacts. We must also focus on reducing our impacts on the environment. And none of that matters if we can’t create sustainable and scalable policies to ensure that all communities benefit from a unified climate response.

Together, adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability, with the common thread of equity, are the essential components of a holistic and just approach to climate resilience.

Creating a holistic approach to climate change is the foundation for Battelle’s Innovations in Climate Resilience Conference, or ICR24, now in its third year. On April 22-24, starting on Earth Day, we’ll once again convene experts from government, private industry, nonprofits and academia to connect for a multidisciplinary approach to climate change. ICR24 will be in Washington D.C. with our policy partner, the Wilson Center at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center.

"By focusing on adaptation, mitigation, sustainability with equity as a throughline, together we can deliver on the solutions needed for real climate resilience,” said Battelle Technical Fellow Justin Sanchez, chairman of ICR24.

To better understand this approach, it is important to understand how each of these foundational elements play a role in climate resilience.


alt=The Guanica Dry Forest Reserve TowerA NEON tower at the Guanica Dry Forest Reserve (GUAN). It is located along the southern coast of Puerto Rico, an area subject to hurricanes, and serves as an example of hurricane resilient infrastructure

Climate adaptation refers to needed adjustments in ecological, social, and economic systems for actual and expected climate change. It is about making our societies and systems more resilient to the impacts of climate change that are already happening and preparing for the those that are coming in the future.


alt= Climeworks DACA plant Climeworks' Orca plant located in Iceland. It is the world's first large-scale carbon dioxide removal plant.

Mitigation, on the other hand, is about reducing and eliminating harmful impacts to our planet. For example, new processes, policies and technologies are needed to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we release while at the same time capturing excess carbon dioxide that currently exists in our atmosphere. It also involves implementing measures to reduce these impacts as we transition to new technologies like hydrogen and fusion energy. We must identify and phase new innovations in with existing technologies to bridge to a future where a wide array of supply meets demand where it lives.


alt= a carpenter laying down Chemically modified plastic-based composite decking boardsChemically modified plastic-based composite decking, created by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), could be made carbon-negative over its lifespan.

Sustainability is the third pillar of this integrated approach. It is about meeting our present needs without compromising the future. We must strike a balance between economic development and well-being, while simultaneously preserving our planet's resources and ecosystems. Key sustainability efforts, such as identifying and expanding renewable energy sources and establishing a circular economy, are not just beneficial but essential. These efforts, among others, are fundamental in achieving climate resilience.

Take Action Now

ICR24 is the platform where leaders from different sectors including industry, academia, non-profits, the U.S. Department of Energy’s national labs, and policymakers come together to discuss and share their insights on these three key elements of climate resilience. It is the event where innovative ideas are born, collaborations are formed, and solutions are developed to address the pressing issue of climate change.

This conference is not just about discussing the challenge; it's about finding and implementing solutions. It's about using science and technology to intelligently inform policy and make a real difference in the world. It's about ensuring that our approach to climate resilience is not only effective but also sustainable and adaptable.

If you are interested in being a part of this important conversation, we encourage you to bring your best ideas to Washington D.C. on Earth Day, April 22 for three days that are dedicated to delivering on a holistic approach to climate resilience. By focusing on adaptation, mitigation, and sustainability, together we can create a resilient future that is both possible and optimal for all.

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March 26, 2024
Battelle Insider
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