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Reconstructing Noah’s ark: Integration of climate change adaptation into Swedish public policy
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
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.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 578
Keyword [en]
Adaptation; climate change; policy integration; Sweden; vulnerability
Keyword [sv]
Anpassning; klimatförändringar; policyintegrering; Sverige; sårbarhet
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90177ISBN: 978-91-7519-648-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-90177DiVA: diva2:612300
Public defence
2013-04-12, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköipngs universitet, Norrköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-03-21 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Managing climate change vulnerabilities: formal institutions and knowledge use as determinants of adaptive capacity at the local level in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing climate change vulnerabilities: formal institutions and knowledge use as determinants of adaptive capacity at the local level in Sweden
2010 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 15, no 6, 525-539 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Though managing vulnerabilities posed by climate change calls for effective strategies and measures, its challenges have hitherto not been fully understood. In Sweden, municipalities have recently started incorporating vulnerability management into their political and administrative agendas. This study discusses such experiences and explores how institutional determinants may influence adaptive capacity within a local case study area, to illustrate emerging challenges and opportunities for Swedish municipalities in managing climate vulnerabilities. Specifically, formal institutional structure and the use of knowledge are analysed, concluding that vulnerability management often is focused on technical and reactive fixes, due to limited cooperation between local sector organisations, lack of local co-ordination, and an absence of methods and traditions to build institutional knowledge. Even so, opportunities, such as a high capacity to examine risks to technical systems and important establishments which in turn facilitates protection of technical infrastructure exposed to climate variability and change, also exist.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2010
Keyword
climate change, vulnerability, adaptive capacity, local institutions, municipality, Sweden
National Category
Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources Earth and Related Environmental Sciences Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-58852 (URN)10.1080/13549839.2010.487525 (DOI)
Projects
FORMAS 2006-4871-7662-55
Available from: 2010-08-31 Created: 2010-08-30 Last updated: 2017-12-12
2. Evolving local climate adaptation strategies: incorporating influences of socio–economic stress
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Evolving local climate adaptation strategies: incorporating influences of socio–economic stress
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.

Keyword
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)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77394 (URN)10.1007/s11027-011-9337-3 (DOI)000303355800002 ()
Note
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: 2017-12-07
3. Facilitating co-production of knowledge in integrated climate change vulnerability assessments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Facilitating co-production of knowledge in integrated climate change vulnerability assessments
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Involving stakeholder perspectives in research driven climate change vulnerability assessments are important to improve their usefulness in adaptation planning. However, facilitating interaction among heterogeneous actors requires that divergent viewpoints, interests and knowledge claims can be negotiated. This study aims at building an understanding of how participatory vulnerability assessments can be improved by discussing facilitating factors for co-production of knowledge identified within a Swedish research project. The project, conducted between 2007 and 2012, involved participants from various municipal departments, national agencies and research and aimed at assessing vulnerability of two case municipalities. Participants’ perceptions of the co-production process and the project design were collected via stakeholder dialogues, qualitative individual and group interviews and evaluations throughout the project. Results were analysed with help of evaluative criteria on two levels. The study identified following facilitating factors for co-production; develop common goals for all stakeholder interaction, include expectations from all participants in the process planning, unite around what project outcomes are realistic, meet all participants individually before any group processes, hold the co-production process active, focus the discussions around relevant local cases, relate identified local vulnerabilities to practical examples, create a unifying form for group discussions, and be flexible and adjust discussion formats after what stimulates participants interests. Considering these facilitating factors when designing participatory vulnerability assessments can improve the process.

Keyword
Climate change, co-production, stakeholder participation, vulnerability assessment
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-90171 (URN)
Available from: 2013-03-21 Created: 2013-03-21 Last updated: 2015-09-22Bibliographically approved
4. Cities’ capacity to manage climate vulnerability: experiences from participatory vulnerability assessments in the lower Göta Älv Catchment, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cities’ capacity to manage climate vulnerability: experiences from participatory vulnerability assessments in the lower Göta Älv Catchment, Sweden
Show others...
2012 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 17, no 6-7, 735-750 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Within the scope of this project, tools for conducting systematic and integrated climate vulnerability and sustainability assessments have been developed. Two municipalities in the lower Göta Älv catchment were selected as study cases. Together with representatives from key municipal departments and national government agencies, the interdisciplinary research team designed and conducted a co-production process. Results obtained using the developed tools demonstrate that conducting such a systematic assessment of the current situation and potential impacts of climate change adaptation measures would contribute to synergies between adaptation strategies and other policy arenas. Our recommendation for enhancing the capacity of local vulnerability management in Sweden is to shift foci in four fields: from static analysis of climate vulnerability to a dynamic approach to social vulnerability, from a sectorwise fragmented approach to integrated management, from a focus on technical fixes and physical measures to institutional adaptation measures, and, finally, from sustainability-blind adaptation investments to long-term sustainable climate adaptation measures. The processes and mechanisms for succeeding in this requires that knowledge be produced, shared, and managed in partly new ways, allowing stakeholders both inside and outside local government administration to voice and synergise their concerns and solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2012
Keyword
participatory research; climate change vulnerability; integrated vulnerability, Deltagandemetodik; klimatförändringar, sårbarhet, integrerad sårbarhetsanalys, anpassning
National Category
Political Science Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79991 (URN)10.1080/13549839.2012.685880 (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2012-08-17 Created: 2012-08-17 Last updated: 2017-12-07
5. New Levels of Climate Adaptation Policy: Analyzing the Institutional Interplay in the Baltic Sea Region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New Levels of Climate Adaptation Policy: Analyzing the Institutional Interplay in the Baltic Sea Region
2013 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 5, no 1, 256-275 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

International policy development and expected climate change impacts such as flooding, landslides, and the extinction of sensitive species have forced countries around the Baltic Sea to begin working on national climate adaptation policies. Simultaneously, the EU is building both a central and a macro-regional Baltic Sea-wide adaptation strategy to support national policy developments. However, it yet remains unclear how these EU strategies will complement each other or national policies. This article analyzes the constraints and opportunities presented by this new institutional interplay and discusses the potential of the forthcoming EU strategies to support national policy. It does so by mapping how adaptation is institutionalized in two case countries, Sweden and Finland, and is organized in the two EU approaches. The vertical institutional interplay between scales is analyzed in terms of three factors: competence, capacity, and compatibility. Results indicate institutional constraints related to: risks of policy complexity for sub-national actors, an unclear relationship between the two EU approaches, an overly general approach to targeting contextualized climate change vulnerabilities, and a general lack of strategies to steer adaptation. However, there are also opportunities linked to an anticipated increased commitment to the national management of adaptation, especially related to biodiversity issues.

Keyword
adaptation; Baltic Sea Region; climate change; EU; institutional interplay
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-87687 (URN)10.3390/su5010256 (DOI)000324044300016 ()
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2006-4871-7662-55
Available from: 2013-01-22 Created: 2013-01-22 Last updated: 2017-12-06

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