Climate change may have dramatic consequences for several regions. Most vulnerable are fragile countries with limited capacities to adapt. Without timely action, the stresses induced by climate change may increase the risk of violent conflict. Designing and implementing adaptation strategies is becoming imperative to mitigate conflict potentials and prevent escalation. This article will discuss existing national and international approaches with focus on the UNFCCC process. It will be emphasized that a purely technical understanding of adaptation is insufficient to cope with the socio-political consequences of climate change. Indeed, adaptation may even contribute to conflict potentials if ill-designed. Thus, it is necessary to develop conflict-sensitive approaches complemented by internationally supported capacity development measures.