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Evolving local climate adaptation strategies: incorporating influences of socio–economic stress
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5500-3300
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research . Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5126-3973
2012 (English)In: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, ISSN 1381-2386, E-ISSN 1573-1596, Vol. 17, no 5, 471-486 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Socio-economic and climatic stresses affect local communities’ vulnerability toflooding. Better incorporation of socio-economic stress in local vulnerability assessments isimportant when planning for climate adaptation. This is rarely done due to insufficientunderstanding of their interaction, in both theory and practice. The omission leads to criticalweaknesses in local adaptation strategies. This study analyses how socio-economic stressinteract with climatic stress and shape local vulnerability to flooding, and how such stresscan be more efficiently managed within local government organisations. A frameworkcontaining potential stresses was developed and applied to investigate how socio-economicstress affected exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity in two case studies, usinginterview and group exercise transcripts. Cases consisted of major development projects intwo Swedish municipalities, Gothenburg and Lilla Edet. The cases were similarly exposedto climatic stress but differed in socio-economic context, and previous professional climatechange experience. Fierce foreign competition and market structure were seen as the twomost significant socio-economic stresses influencing local vulnerability to flooding throughshaping the ‘local’ worldview. In falling order sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacitywere seen to be influenced by the socio-economic stresses. Two approaches to efficientlyincorporate climatic and socio-economic stress in local management are proposed: shiftingthe focus of vulnerability assessments towards future sensitivity of people and settlements,rather than on the current infrastructure’s sensitivity, would facilitate their use in planningand by ‘mainstreaming’ adaptation into long-term strategic planning vulnerability would bemore dynamically addressed and periodically revised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 17, no 5, 471-486 p.
Keyword [en]
Adaptation strategies, climate vulnerability, multiple stresses, socio-economic stress, flooding, local government
National Category
Social Sciences Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77394DOI: 10.1007/s11027-011-9337-3ISI: 000303355800002OAI: diva2:526673
funding agencies|Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning (Formas)| 250-2006-2234 |European Regional Development Fund of the Baltic Sea Region Programme||Available from: 2012-05-14 Created: 2012-05-14 Last updated: 2015-09-22
In thesis
1. Reconstructing Noah’s ark: Integration of climate change adaptation into Swedish public policy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reconstructing Noah’s ark: Integration of climate change adaptation into Swedish public policy
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Due to expected impacts such as flooding, landslides, and biodiversity loss, climate change adaptation has become recognized as an inevitable part of climate change policy and practice. However, our understanding of how to organize the management of adaptation is lacking, and few concrete measures have yet been implemented. Knowledge gaps exist relating to constraints on and opportunities and facilitating factors for adaptation. This study aims to fill such gaps by analyzing how Swedish climate change vulnerability and adaptation management is integrated across issues, sectors, and scales in public policy. The analysis is supported by two interconnected sub-studies. The first maps the national and local institutionalization of adaptation through document analyses at different policy levels. The second analyses practical approaches to and perceptions of vulnerability and adaptation management in two case municipalities. In the latter sub-study, qualitative interviews and stakeholder dialogues were held with officials from various local sector departments. The results indicate that climate change adaptation is poorly integrated into Swedish public policy. Constrains on local horizontal integration include a lack of cross-sectoral coordination and knowledge, weak local political interest, and varying opportunities for sector departments to influence policy. These constraints result in climate vulnerability being considered late in municipal and regional strategic planning processes. They also reduce the possibility of identifying overarching municipal goals. At the national level, horizontal integration is negatively affected by a lack of government guidelines and by unclear division of responsibility. Constraints on vertical integration include poor fit between the national and municipal levels, due to a perceived absence of national goals, guidelines, and funding, and the lack of a sufficient knowledge base for decision-making. This makes it difficult to  now what measures to prioritize and how to evaluate progress. The analysis of adaptation policy integration also gives insights into some general factors found to either constrain or facilitate implementation of adaptation. In Sweden, both horizontal and vertical integration has been facilitated by the few national and regional guidelines established to date, indicating that national steering would offer a useful way forward. Policy integration could be increased by formulating national adaptation goals, creating a national adaptation fund, creating municipal adaptation coordinator posts, and paying greater attention to climate change  vulnerability in proactive economic planning.

Abstract [sv]

Förväntade konsekvenser av klimatförändringar såsom översvämningar, jordskred och biodiversitetsförluster har utvecklats till viktiga klimatpolitiska frågor. Förståelsen av hur hantering av klimateffekter kan organiseras är dock begränsad. Kunskapsluckor existerar även kring hinder och möjligheter för implementering av klimatanpassning. Därför har få anpassningsåtgärder hittills realiserats. Denna studie syftar till att bidra med kunskap för att fylla ovanstående luckor, genom att analysera hur hantering av klimatsårbarhet och anpassning är integrerade i andra frågor, sektorer och nivåer i svensk offentlig policy. Analysen stöds av två sammanlänkande delstudier. Den första kartlägger genom dokumentanalyser, hur anpassning institutionaliserats på nationell och lokal nivå. Den andra analyserar praktiska tillvägagångssätt till, och åsikter om, hantering av anpassning i två svenska kommuner. I den senare delstudien har kvalitativa intervjuer och intressentdialoger genomförts med kommuntjänstemän från olika sektorsförvaltningar. Studien visar att anpassningsfrågan är undermåligt integrerad i svensk offentlig policy. Hinder för horisontell integrering på det lokala planet inkluderar en brist på tvärsektoriell koordinering och kunskapsuppbyggnad, ett svalt lokalpolitiskt intresse och olika möjligheter för sektorsförvaltningar att påverka beslutsfattande. Detta får till följd att klimatsårbarhet övervägs sent i kommunal och regional strategisk planering. Det försvårar också möjligheten att finna övergripande kommunala mål. På den nationella nivån påverkas den horisontella integreringen negativt av en avsaknad av statliga riktlinjer och fördelning av ansvar. Hinder för vertikal integrering inkluderar en brist på matchning mellan nationell och lokal policynivå på grund av en upplevd avsaknad av nationella mål, riktlinjer, finansiering och kunskapsunderlag. Detta gör det svårt att prioritera bland åtgärder, och att utvärdera framsteg. Analysen av policyintegrering ger även insyn i mer generella faktorer som antingen hindrar eller främjar implementering av klimatanpassning. De få statliga och regionala riktlinjer som hittills utvecklats i Sverige, har främjat horisontell och vertikal integrering av anpassning. Detta indikerar att nationell styrning är viktigt för att underlätta implementering av klimatanpassning. För att stärka policyintegreringen föreslås därför att nationella anpassningsmål utvecklas, att en nationell anpassningsfond instiftas, att en tjänst inom kommuner för att koordinera klimatanpassning etableras och att en större vikt ges till klimatsårbarhet och anpassning i proaktiv ekonomisk planering.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 93 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 578
Adaptation; climate change; policy integration; Sweden; vulnerability, Anpassning; klimatförändringar; policyintegrering; Sverige; sårbarhet
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90177 (URN)978-91-7519-648-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-04-12, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköipngs universitet, Norrköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-03-21 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved

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Hjerpe, MattiasGlaas, Erik
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