Institutions for adaptation to climate change comparing national adaptation strategies in Europe

C.J.A.M. Termeer, G.R. Biesbroek, M.A. van den Brink

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

In addition to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions many European countries have begun to develop adaptation strategies. However, developing and implementing these is not easy due to all kind of institutional complexities. Many of the current governance institutions are the product of times in which the climate issue was hardly of any importance. This paper deals with the question if our institutions are able to adapt to climate change. The paper presents a theoretical framework to assess the capacity of institutions to deal with climate adaption and applies it to adaptation strategies in four different European Countries: the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland and Sweden. It concludes that institutions in these countries provide the basic qualities to adapt. Using the theoretical framework, five institutional weaknesses have been identified which can cause tensions on the long term: 1) the lack of openness of the political system towards learning and variety; 2) the strong onesided reliance on scientific experts; 3) the tension between top down policy development and bottom-up implementation; 4) the institutionalized mistrust in the problem solving capacity of civil society and 5) the wickedness of reserving funding for the long term. Keywords: Institutions; Climate Change; Adaptive Capacity; National Adaptation
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
EventAmerican Political Science Association (APSA) 2009 Meeting, Toronto, Canada -
Duration: 3 Sep 20096 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Political Science Association (APSA) 2009 Meeting, Toronto, Canada
Period3/09/096/09/09

Keywords

  • climatic change
  • climate adaptation
  • institutions
  • governance
  • europe

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