Cities are key sites where climate change is being addressed. Previous research has largely overlooked the multiplicity of climate change responses emerging outside formal contexts of decision-making and led by actors other than municipal governments. Moreover, existing research has largely focused on case studies of climate change mitigation in developed economies. The objective of this paper is to uncover the heterogeneous mix of actors, settings, governance arrangements and technologies involved in the governance of climate change in cities in different parts of the world.
The paper focuses on urban climate change governance as a process of experimentation. Climate change experiments are presented here as interventions to try out new ideas and methods in the context of future uncertainties. They serve to understand how interventions work in practice, in new contexts where they are thought of as innovative. To study experimentation, the paper presents evidence from the analysis of a database of 627 urban climate change experiments in a sample of 100 global cities.
The analysis suggests that, since 2005, experimentation is a feature of urban responses to climate change across different world regions and multiple sectors. Although experimentation does not appear to be related to particular kinds of urban economic and social conditions, some of its core features are visible. For example, experimentation tends to focus on energy. Also, both social and technical forms of experimentation are visible, but technical experimentation is more common in urban infrastructure systems. While municipal governments have a critical role in climate change experimentation, they often act alongside other actors and in a variety of forms of partnership. These findings point at experimentation as a key tool to open up new political spaces for governing climate change in the city.
Women are thought to have a multiplicity of roles as agents, victims and saviours in relation to environmental change. This paper takes an innovative approach to the study of gender and the environment by utilizing women's time use as a surrogate measure of changes in gender roles under conditions of environmental stress. Case studies are drawn from dryland areas of Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Ghana, the Sudan and the Caribbean. There is considerable evidence that women have shorter hours of rest than men, that gender roles are becoming more flexible and that environmental degradation increases women's workload.
In 1972, the Club of Rome's infamous report “The Limits to Growth” [Meadows, D.H., Meadows, D.L., Randers, J., Behrens_III, W. W. (1972). The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind. Universe Books, New York] presented some challenging scenarios for global sustainability, based on a system dynamics computer model to simulate the interactions of five global economic subsystems, namely: population, food production, industrial production, pollution, and consumption of non-renewable natural resources. Contrary to popular belief, The Limits to Growth scenarios by the team of analysts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology did not predict world collapse by the end of the 20th century. This paper focuses on a comparison of recently collated historical data for 1970–2000 with scenarios presented in the Limits to Growth. The analysis shows that 30 years of historical data compare favorably with key features of a business-as-usual scenario called the “standard run” scenario, which results in collapse of the global system midway through the 21st century. The data do not compare well with other scenarios involving comprehensive use of technology or stabilizing behaviour and policies. The results indicate the particular importance of understanding and controlling global pollution.
This paper describes an analysis of long-term rainfall trends in central mountainous region of Sri Lanka. A 30-year 60 rain gauge data set is analyzed to identify the trends in annual and seasonal rainfall. Inter-annual as well as intra-annual rainfall trends are investigated to understand the adverse impacts on water resources, floods and land degradation. It is found that there is a decrease in the annual rainfall in the region, while different seasons show mixed results. The March–April 1st inter-monsoon period shows the highest decrease in rainfall where almost all the rain gauges have recorded decreasing rainfall. In addition to the decreasing rainfall trend, the numbers of rainy days have reduced giving rise to an increasing rain intensity trend. In order to understand better the changes to rain intensity-frequency relation, a universal multifractal analysis was carried out where multifractal models calibrated to first and last decades of the rain series are used to estimate the intensity–frequency relations in the rainfall series. The results show that there is a decrease of inter-monsoon rainfall, while the intensities and return period of extreme events appear to become shorter. These changes could be associated with regional climate changes, and are consistent with projections related to Asia Brown Cloud phenomena.
The phosphorus (P) cycle has been significantly altered by human activities. For this paper, we explored the sustainability of current P flows in terms of resource depletion and the ultimate fate of these flows. The analysis shows that rapid depletion of extractable phosphate rock is not very likely, in the near term. Under best estimates, depletion would be around 20–35%. In worst case scenarios, about 40–60% of the current resource base would be extracted by 2100. At the same time, production will concentrate in Asia, Africa and West Asia, and production costs will likely have increased. As there are no substitutes for phosphorus plant nutrients in agriculture, arguably even partial depletion of P resources may in the long run be relevant for the sustainability of agriculture. Consumption trends lead to large flows of phosphorus to surface water and a considerable build-up of phosphorus in agricultural soils in arable lands. This may allow a reduction in future P fertiliser application rates in crop production. Results also indicate a global depletion of P pools in soils under grassland, which may be a threat to ruminant production.
China's energy consumption doubled within the first 25 years of economic reforms initiated at the end of the 1970s, and doubled again in the past 5 years. It has resulted of a threefold CO2 emissions increase since early of 1980s. China's heavy reliance on coal will make it the largest emitter of CO2 in the world. By combining structural decomposition and input–output analysis we seek to assess the driving forces of China's CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2030. In our reference scenario, production-related CO2 emissions will increase another three times by 2030. Household consumption, capital investment and growth in exports will largely drive the increase in CO2 emissions. Efficiency gains will be partially offset the projected increases in consumption, but our scenarios show that this will not be sufficient if China's consumption patterns converge to current US levels. Relying on efficiency improvements alone will not stabilize China's future emissions. Our scenarios show that even extremely optimistic assumptions of widespread installation of carbon dioxide capture and storage will only slow the increase in CO2 emissions.
Through the case of the salmon aquaculture sector in Chile, the risks involved in the development of a non-traditional export sector are reviewed, in order to point to failings (lessons not learned) and opportunities (lessons learned, new plans), and the changing scales of stakeholder interactions. In particular the paper highlights the ways in which sustainability considerations have gained ground in terms of evaluating sectoral development and what is expected from this development. These considerations have emerged as a result of the increasing globalisation of the sector, through investment, exports and international ‘attention’ from an increasingly diverse set of stakeholders. These sustainability considerations have generated a range of conflicts linked to these diverse actors. The actors are local, national and global, operating through alliances to bring pressure on others. The conflicts relate to environmental quality, foreign direct investment (FDI), local socio-economic development, regional development, national economic strategies, and new globalised issues relating to the production and consumption of foodstuffs. The contemporary panorama in the sector is significantly different from the early origins in the 1980s under the dictatorship – the period of ‘the socio-ecological silence’ – also different from the 1990s period of economic expansion – ‘the economic imperative’. Over the past twenty-five years, the Chilean aquaculture sector has evolved from experimental production to a major global industry. Regulatory frameworks and civil society awareness and mobilisation have struggled to ‘catch up’ with the dynamism of the sector, however the gap has reduced and the future of the sector within the contemporary context of ‘glocal’ sustainability is now under the microscope: the ‘sustainable globalisation perspective’. The collapse of the sector during the period 2008–2010 as a consequence of the ISA virus is a key moment with production severely diminished. The way out of the crisis, via new legislation and inspection regimes, will create a new structure of aquaculture governance. Nevertheless, the crisis marks a turning point in the industry, revealing the weaknesses built into the former productive system.
This paper interprets an initial approximation of the ‘trade’ in virtual water of Nile Basin states in terms of national water security. The virtual water content (on the basis of weight) of select recorded crop and livestock trade between 1998 and 2004 is provided, and analysed for each state separately, for the Southern Nile and Eastern Nile states as groups, and for the basin states as a whole. To the extent that the datasets allow, the distinction between rainfed and irrigated production is maintained. During the period under study, Nile Basin states ‘exported’ about 14,000 Mm3 of primarily rainfed-derived virtual water outside of the basin annually and ‘imported’ roughly 41,000 Mm3/y. The ‘imports’ are considered to have played a key role in filling the freshwater deficits of Egypt and Sudan, and represent a third of the flow of the Nile River itself. Analysis of food trade within the basin shows that the equivalent of small rivers of water used to raise coffee and tea ‘flow’ from the highlands around Lake Victoria to Egypt and Sudan. Because the bulk of these ‘flows’ derive from rainfed agriculture, the virtual water ‘traded’ annually between the Nile Basin states is not considered to represent a significant demand on the water resources of the basin, nor to significantly remedy the freshwater deficits of the arid basin states. The importance of soil water and rainfed farming is in improving water security is highlighted. The limitations and merits of the inter-state basin-wide approach are also discussed. By highlighting the magnitude of water leaving and entering states in its virtual form, the approach obliges policy-makers to think beyond the basin and reconsider the concept of water security within broader political, environmental, social and economic forces.
Evironmental citizenship is a nationally-and-internationally stated objective. The interacting components which comprise the environmental citizen are generally not in dispute; it is the relationships between them and their relative importance that are poorly understood. A model of environmental citizenship was developed and tested via a public questionnaire-based survey. Multiple regression-and-correlation analyses indicate that participation in environmental education and training is the most important predictor of environmental behaviour followed by emotionality. However, the complexity of interactions which determine behaviour illustrates that environmental citizens are not produced merely by programmes of education, but by a whole range of factors with which education may interact. The model also demonstrates that the combination of the solutions subscale of sense of personal responsibility and the others subscale of locus of control exert a strong influence on behaviour, indicating the importance of a philosophy that recognizes the value of the individual in solving environmental problems. An internal locus of control is an important pre-requisite of environmental citizenship, as is a combination of both abstract and concrete knowledge. These results are generally comparable with other, largely US-based studies. It is therefore possible to conclude that the inter-relationships between environmental citizenship components are usually constant and that the model of environmental citizenship developed here is transferable.
Media discourses about drought impacts on lakes and reservoirs in Arizona and New Mexico between 2002 and 2004 are compared to show how discursive contexts shape the framing of drought in temporal and spatial scales. Discursive contexts in the two states are shaped by their cultural and political histories and the differential development of water delivery infrastructures. Quantitative mapping of keywords in the states’ main newspapers shows how New Mexico experienced more conflict and Arizona more surprise about the drought. Qualitative case studies link these patterns to variation in framing between the states. In particular, the shorter temporal scale in New Mexico is linked to a greater sense of emergency, while the longer temporal scale in Arizona reflects the buffering of urban populations from drought through water delivery infrastructure. The finer spatial scale in Arizona, focusing on urban concerns, reflects an established infrastructure of reservoirs while the broader spatial scale in New Mexico, incorporating both rural and urban concerns, reflects a less developed physical infrastructure and greater prevalence of water rights conflicts. This study illustrates the usefulness of a multifaceted approach to the study of media discourse.
The rich biodiversity of southern Africa has to date been relatively unimpacted by the activities of modern society, but to what degree will this situation persist into the 21st century? We use a leading global environmental assessment model (IMAGE) to explore future land use and climate change in southern Africa under the scenarios developed by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. We assess the impacts on terrestrial biodiversity using the Biodiversity Intactness Index, which gives the average change in population size relative to the pre-modern state, across all terrestrial species of plants and vertebrates. Over the coming century, we project absolute declines in the average population sizes of these taxa that are two to three times greater than the reductions that have occurred since circa 1700. Our results highlight the immense challenges faced by efforts to reduce rates of biodiversity loss in southern Africa, even under relatively optimistic scenarios. These results stress the urgent need for better aligning biodiversity conservation and development priorities in the region. Furthermore, we suggest that context-sensitive conservation targets that account for the development imperatives in different parts of the region are needed.
This paper considers the implications of a range of global-mean sea-level rise and socio-economic scenarios on: (1) changes in flooding by storm surges; and (2) potential losses of coastal wetlands through the 21st century. These scenarios are derived from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES). Four different storylines are analysed: the A1FI, A2, B1 and B2 ‘worlds’. The climate scenarios are derived from the HadCM3 climate model driven by the SRES emission scenarios. The SRES scenarios for global-mean sea-level rise range from 22 cm (B1 world) to 34 cm (A1FI world) by the 2080s, relative to 1990. All other climate factors, including storm characteristics, are assumed to remain constant in the long term. Population and GDP scenarios are downscaled from the SRES regional analyses supplemented with other relevant scenarios for each impact analysis.
The conditional probabilistic scenario analysis combines statistical methods of uncertainty analysis at parameter level with storylines which recognize the deep uncertainty that exists for several underlying trends. The model calculations indicate that cumulative 21st century emissions could range from 800 to 2500 GtC in the absence of climate policy. This range originates partly from the underlying storylines, and partly from the probabilistic analysis. Among the most important parameters contributing to the uncertainty range are uncertainty in income growth, population growth, parameters determining energy demand, oil resources and fuel preferences. The contribution of these factors is also scenario-dependent.
Any discussion of the benefits of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation measures should take into consideration the full range of possible climate change outcomes, including impacts that remain highly uncertain, like surprises and other climate irreversibilities. Real-world coupling between complex systems can cause them to exhibit new collective behaviours that are not clearly demonstrable by models that do not include such coupling. Through examples from ocean circulation and atmosphere–biosphere interactions, this paper demonstrates that external forcings such as increases in GHG concentrations can push complex systems from one equilibrium state to another, with non-linear abrupt change as a possible consequence. Furthermore, the harder and faster a system is perturbed, the higher the likelihood of such surprises—a conclusion that has significant bearing on the assessment of the potential benefits of the timing and stringency of GHG abatement measures. The paper concludes with a perspective on how to better incorporate uncertainty and surprise into integrated assessment models of climate change.
The countries wishing to join the EU have a high potential for low cost greenhouse gas emission reduction. As they cannot join the "bubble" agreement for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, project-based Joint Implementation (JI) could be a powerful strategy to integrate accession countries into an overall EU climate policy strategy. An important question in this context is whether the "acquis communautaire" will be used to define the baseline for the calculation of emission reductions from JI projects. A problem is that the grace periods for several environmental sectors, e.g. for application of the IPPC directive, differ considerably among countries. The EU should help accession countries to establish a predictable legal framework on which to base JI preventing in this way the current legal uncertainty regarding procedures of JI. Moreover, it should aim at an early implementation of the monitoring guideline and couple it with technical assistance. This would allow to build strong inventory systems in the accession countries and thus avoid the risk that JI is restricted to the second, strongly supervised track. In den Ländern, die der EU in den nächsten Jahren beitreten wollen, gibt es ein erhebliches Potenzial kostengünstiger Maßnahmen zur Treibhausgasverringerung. Da die Beitrittsländer der EU-Zielgemeinschaft für die 1. Verpflichtungsperiode des Kyoto- Protokolls nicht beitreten können, könnte projektbasierte Joint Implementation (JI) eine wichtige Strategie zur Integration dieser Länder in eine EU-weite Klimapolitikstrategie sein. Eine wichtige Frage ist in diesem Zusammenhang, ob der "Acquis Communautaire" die Referenzfälle für die Berechnung der Emissionsverringerung aus JI-Projekten bestimmt. Problematisch hierbei ist, dass sich die Übergangsperioden für verschiedene Sektoren, z.B. für die Anwendung der IVU-Richtlinie, zwischen den Ländern erheblich unterscheiden. Die
The authors begin with the premise that it would be instructive to examine the record of different international environmental agreements in order to highlight general lessons of possible relevance to a greenhouse gas accord. They review three different international agreements (or sets of agreements) on the environment: the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and its 1990 amendment; a set of multilateral agreements to reduce acid rain in Europe; and the 1982 Law of the Sea Treaty. Their analysis sheds light on five factors that are important in achieving effective international agreement on environmental issues: the role of scientific and other knowledge in building consensus; the degree of flexibility provided in meeting obligations to the agreement; the role of incentives (both positive and negative) for widespread participation; the process of negotiation itself; and the role of public perception in influencing political action.
Two integrated assessment models, one for climate change on a global scale (IMAGE 2) and another for the regional analysis of the impacts of acidifying deposition (RAINS), have been linked to assess the impacts of reducing sulphur emission on ecosystems in Asia and Europe. While such reductions have the beneficial effect of reducing the deposition of acidifying compounds and thus the exceedance of critical loads of ecosystems, they also reduce the global level of sulphate aerosols and thus enhance the impact of increased emissions of greenhouse gases, and consequently increase the risk of potential vegetation changes. The calculations indicate that about 70% of the ecosystems in Asia would be affected by either acid deposition or climate change in the year 2100 (up from 20% in 1990) for both sulphur emission scenarios (controlled and uncontrolled), whereas in Europe the impacted area would remain at a level of about 50%, with a dip early next century. More generally, the effects of reducing sulphur emissions and thus enhancing climate change would about balance for the Asian region, whereas for Europe the desirable impact of sulphur emission reductions would greatly outweigh its undesirable effects.
This paper is concerned with environmental governance and policy formation in the area of climate change. Specifically, it examines a decision by the UK Government in 2003 to adopt a demanding, long-term CO2 emissions reduction target, following the advice of one of its longest standing environmental advisory bodies, the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. It explores the origins of the Commission's recommendation and the reasons for its relatively rapid uptake in public policy. It argues that in both cases, a complex mix of structural and contingent, cognitive and non-cognitive factors can be identified, operating at different levels of governance. Finally, the paper reflects on what we might learn from this particular case about policy processes and the role of knowledge and expert advice within them.
While climate change is obviously a global environmental problem, there is nevertheless potential for policy initiatives at the local level. Although the competences of local authorities vary between countries, they all have some responsibilities in the crucial areas of energy and transport policy. This paper examines local competences in Sweden and the UK and looks at the responses to the climate change issue by six local authorities, focussing on energy related developments. The points of departure are very different in the two countries. Swedish local authorities are much more independent than UK ones, especially through the ownership of local energy companies. Yet, UK local authorities are relatively active in the climate change domain, at least in terms of drawing up response strategies, which they see as an opportunity for reasserting their role, after a long period of erosion of their powers. Furthermore, there is more scope for action in the UK, as in Sweden many potential measures, especially in the energy efficiency field, have already been taken. However, in both countries climate change is only a relatively marginal area of local environmental policy making and the political will, as well as the financial resources, for more radical measures are often absent.
The effectiveness of forest governance practices has consequences that range from the local to the global level. In general, the study of community forest governance relies heavily on case-study materials. The strength of single case and small-N comparative studies is related to the ability to uncover the nuances of time and place specific particularities. A recognized weakness of this approach relates to the fact that results cannot easily be extrapolated. For my analysis, I use a large-N, cross-national dataset instead. What constitutes an effective local forest governance regime? I show that especially monitoring – and to a lesser extent, maintenance – is correlated with improving forest conditions. When are effective governance regimes likely to emerge? I show that social capital, organization, leadership and autonomy contribute to the development of institutions for collective action. How does competition between forest users affect governance? I provide empirical evidence that two-level collective action dilemmas hinder the emergence of effective governance regimes.
The reconciliation of national development plans with global priority to mitigate environmental change remains an intractable policy controversy. In Africa, its resolution requires integrating local knowledge into impact assessments without compromising the scientific integrity of the assessment process. This requires better understanding of the communication pathways involved in progressing from frame construction to political action on various environmental issues. The impacts of environmental factors on human health are a common concern in Africa, and it is examined here as a platform for negotiating controversies surrounding the arrogation of global support for local assessments of vulnerability and mitigation. The study focused on the particularities of projected impacts of climate change, and specifically on considerations of the health sector within the context of multivalent international agreements to conduct and use environmental assessments. The analysis addresses limitations of cross-scale communication nodes that are embedded in boundary institutions such as the Country Study Program which is hosted by industrialized nations. The translation of rhetoric into action frames through dynamic vulnerability assessments and critical frame reflection can equally engage indigenous and aided capacity for adapting to environmental change.
Invasions by non-indigenous species are amongst the greatest threats to global biodiversity, causing substantial disruption to, and sometimes local extinction of, individual species and community assemblages which, in turn, can affect ecosystem structure and function. The terrestrial environment of Antarctica consists of many isolated ‘islands’ of ice-free ground. Prolonged isolation makes Antarctic biodiversity vulnerable to human-mediated impacts, in particular (1) the introduction of non-indigenous species from outside Antarctica, and (2) the redistribution of indigenous Antarctic species between biologically distinct areas within the continent. The Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, the primary instrument through which environmental management is addressed within the Antarctic Treaty System, says little about unintentional introduction of non-indigenous species to Antarctica, and nothing specifically about human-mediated transfer of native species from one area to another. We review the effectiveness of the Antarctic protected area system, the primary means through which area-specific environmental protection is achieved under the Antarctic Treaty System. This reveals that the measures described in most Antarctic Specially Protected Area (ASPA) and Antarctic Specially Managed Area (ASMA) Management Plans, by themselves, may not be sufficient to (1) minimise the possibility of introduction of plants, animals and microbes not native to the protected area or (2) adequately protect the many unusual assemblages of species, type localities or only known habitats of certain species found in Antarctica. We discuss issues that should be considered in the development of a more effective system, including the implementation of appropriate biosecurity measures across different spatial scales and applied to different biological groups.
Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L), an exotic annual, is a common, and often dominant, species in both the shadscale and sagebrush-steppe communities of the Great Basin Desert. Approximately 20% of the sagebrush-steppe vegetation zone is dominated by cheatgrass to the point where the establishment of native perennial species is nearly Impossible. This paper discusses the historical factors that led to the establishment and dissemination of cheatgrass in the Great Basin, examines the processes that further cheatgrass dominance, provides examples of subsequent influences of the grass to human activities, and links the ecological history with range condition models.Evidence suggests that cheatgrass was introduced accidentally to the Great Basin as a grain contaminant at the end of the 19th century at the same time that largescale domestic grazing was occurring. Imported from Mediterranean Europe and central and south-western Asia, seeds of cheatgrass exploited an ecological niche, as no native annual was dominant in the Great Basin. Cattle, sheep, and feral horses facilitated establishment, for they spread the seeds in the same areas that they disturbed. Once established, cheatgrass promoted the likelihood of fire to the detriment of the native species. in addition, other factors, such as the effects of the lack of vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae and selective lagomorph grazing have worked in concert to further establish cheatgrass dominance.The ecological consequences of cheatgrass establishment have been an increase in fire frequency and intensity, a decrease in species diversity, and a landscape susceptible to severe erosion. Bunchgrasses interspersed with longlived perennial shrubs now are replaced with either nearly pure patches of cheatgrass or swaths of cheatgrass and shortlived perennial shrubs. Some consequences to human activities involve the numerous ramifications of rangeland fires with costs of approximately US$20 million annually, the undependability of cheatgrass as a source of forage for cattle and sheep, and the value of biotic diversity as numerous plant and animals species undergo high amplitude population fluctuations. Management of these Great Basin vegetation communities should be approached using the state and threshold range condition model.
We tested two consequences of a currently influential theory based on the notion of seeing adaptations to climate change as local adjustments to deal with changing conditions within the constraints of the broader economic–social–political arrangements. The notion leaves no explicit role for the strength of personal beliefs in climate change and adaptive capacity. The consequences were: (i) adaptive action to climate change taken by an individual who is exposed to and sensitive to climate change is not influenced to a considerable degree by their strength of belief in climate change and (ii) adaptive action to climate change taken by an individual who is exposed to and sensitive to climate change is not influenced to a considerable degree by their strength of belief in an adaptive capacity. Data from a 2004 questionnaire of 1950 Swedish private individual forest owners, who were assumed exposed to and sensitive to climate change, were used. Strength of belief in climate change and adaptive capacities were found to be crucial factors for explaining observed differences in adaptation among Swedish forest owners.
Climate scenarios have been widely used in impact, vulnerability and adaptation assessments of climate change. However, few studies have actually looked at the role played by climate scenarios in adaptation planning. This paper examines how climate scenarios fit in three broad adaptation frameworks: the IPCC approach, risk approaches, and human development approaches. The use (or not) of climate scenarios in three real projects, corresponding to each adaptation approach, is investigated. It is shown that the role played by climate scenarios is dependant on the adaptation assessment approach, availability of technical and financial capacity to handle scenario information, and the type of adaptation being considered.
In the managerial discourse of climate change, there are high expectations of nation-state leadership in promoting adaptation. Yet globalization has introduced new challenges for the state not only in terms of managing rapid economic and cultural integration, but also with respect to governance and decision-making, the use of science and information in policy, and the types of problems governments are called upon to address. Through concrete examples of the process of policy-making in Latin American countries, we illustrate not only the continued relevance of the state, but also the complex challenges posed by globalization to state-led adaptation.
Global climate change induced by the emission of greenhouse gases may pose challenges to energy security. The vulnerability of energy sources, in particular of renewable sources, to climate change raises the need to identify adaptation measures. This paper applies an integrated resource planning approach to calculate least-cost adaptation measures to a set of projected climate impacts on the Brazilian power sector. The methodology used has the advantage of finding optimal solutions that take into consideration the whole energy chain and the interactions between energy supply and demand. Results point in the direction of an increased installed capacity based, mostly, on natural gas, but also sugarcane bagasse, wind power and coal/nuclear plants, to compensate for a lower reliability of hydroelectric production, amongst other impacts. The indirect effect of these results is the displacement of natural gas from other consuming sectors, such as industry, in favor of its use for power generation. Results obtained are, however, based on the techno-economic premises used in the simulation, which may vary in the long term.
The burgeoning interest in social capital within the climate change community represents a welcome move towards a concern for the behavioural elements of adaptive action and capacity. In this paper the case is put forward for a critical engagement with social capital. There is need for an open debate on the conceptual and analytical traps and opportunities that social capital presents. The paper contrasts three schools of thought on social capital and uses a social capital lens to map out current and future areas for research on adaptation to climate change. It identifies opportunities for using social capital to research adaptive capacity and action within communities of place and communities of practice.
Floods, windstorms, drought and wildfires have major implications for human health. To date, conceptual advances in analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climatic hazards from the environmental and social sciences have not been widely applied in terms of health, though key progress is being made particularly in relation to climate change. This paper seeks to take this conceptual grounding further, examining how key themes relate to health concerns, exploring connections with existing health literatures, and developing an organising framework to aid analysis of how vulnerability to health impacts varies within society and how actors make decisions and take action in relation to climatic hazards and health. Social science research on this theme is challenging in part because of the complex mechanisms that link hazard events to health outcomes, and the many-layered factors that shape differential vulnerability and response within changing societal and environmental contexts (including the dual effect of hazards on human health and health systems, and the combination of ‘external’, ‘personal’ and ‘internal’ elements of vulnerability). Tracing a ‘health impact pathway’ from hazard event through health risk effects to health outcomes can provide a research tool with which to map out where the different factors that contribute to vulnerability/coping capacity come into effect.
This paper shows the extent to which people in Funafuti – the main island of Tuvalu – are intending to migrate in response to climate change. It presents evidence collected from Funafuti to challenge the widely held assumption that climate change is, will, or should result in large-scale migration from Tuvalu. It shows that for most people climate change is not a reason for concern, let alone a reason to migrate, and that would-be migrants do not cite climate change as a reason to leave. People in Funafuti wish to remain living in Funafuti for reasons of lifestyle, culture and identity. Concerns about the impacts of climate change are not currently a significant driver of migration from Funafuti, and do not appear to be a significant influence on those who intend to migrate in the future.
This paper presents a participatory approach to investigate vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate variability and water stress in the Lakhwar watershed in Uttarakhand State, India. Highly water stressed microwatersheds were identified by modelling surface runoff, soil moisture development, lateral runoff, and groundwater recharge. The modelling results were shared with communities in two villages, and timeline exercises were carried out to allow them to trace past developments that have impacted their lives and livelihoods, and stimulate discussion about future changes and possible adaptation interventions.
Adaptation to climate change is already being delivered by public and private actors, yet there has been little analysis of the relationships between the providers and beneficiaries of adaptation. This paper reviews the type of actors that are supplying adaptation services and their motivations. We then focus on a specific, under-explored case of adaptation: that of privately provided adaptation public goods and services, the realization of which is contingent on the individual management of private goods and private risks. Following the work of Olson (1965) we find that the benefits of the privately provided adaptation public good do not necessarily accrue back to the (same) individuals who are the providers. The characteristics of this particular form of public good pose specific institutional challenges. In this paper we: 1) explore the characteristics and defining features of these privately provided adaptation public goods; 2) argue that this form of adaptation provisioning is increasingly recognised as a feature in climate change adaptation (and/or social transformation) problems; 3) review existing cases of effective/ineffective management of these public goods; and 4) outline the institutions that may be required to facilitate the management of these public goods for adaptation.Graphical abstract.Highlights► We explore privately provided adaptation public goods. ► These goods are intangible and abstract with asymmetric distribution of costs and benefits. ► These goods are increasingly a feature of climate change adaptation/social transformation problems. ► Deliberate suppliers of these goods are either altruists or those seeking (in)direct compensation. ► Many institutional mechanisms are needed to deliver adequate supply of these goods.
Despite growing global attention to the development of strategies and policy for climate change adaptation, there has been little allowance for input from Indigenous people. In this study we aimed to improve understanding of factors important in integration of Yolngu perspectives in planning adaptation policy in North East Arnhem Land (Australia). We conducted workshops and in-depth interviews in two ‘communities’ to develop insight into Yolngu peoples’ observations and perspectives on climate change, and their ideas and preferences for adaptation. All participants reported observing changes in their ecological landscape, which they attributed to mining, tourism ‘development’, and climate change. ‘Strange changes’ noticed particularly in the last five years, had caused concern and anxiety among many participants. Despite their concern about ecological changes, participants were primarily worried about other issues affecting their community's general welfare. The results suggest that strategies and policies are needed to strengthen adaptive capacity of communities to mitigate over-arching poverty and well-being issues, as well as respond to changes in climate. Participants believed that major constraints to strengthening adaptive capacity had external origins, at regional, state and federal levels. Examples are poor communication and engagement, top-down institutional processes that allow little Indigenous voice, and lack of recognition of Indigenous culture and practices. Participants’ preferences for strategies to strengthen community adaptive capacity tended to be those that lead towards greater self-sufficiency, independence, empowerment, resilience and close contact with the natural environment. Based on the results, we developed a simple model to highlight main determinants of community vulnerability. A second model highlights components important in facilitating discourse on enhancing community capacity to adapt to climatic and other stressors.
Recent developments in both the policy arena and the climate impacts research community point to a growing interest in human adaptation to climatic variability and change. The Importance of adaptation in the climate change question is affirmed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Technical Guidelines for Assessing Impacts and Adaptations and the IPCC's more recent Second Assessment Report. Yet, the nature and processes of human adaptation to climate are poorly understood and rarely investigated directly. Most often, human responses of one form or another are simply assumed in impacts research. Analyses that do address adaptation use a variety of interpretations and perspectives resulting in an Incomplete, and at times inconsistent, understanding of human adaptation to environmental variations. This paper reviews and synthesizes perspectives from an eclectic body of scholarship to develop a framework for characterizing and understanding human adaptation to climatic variability and change. The framework recognizes the characteristics of climatic events, the ecological properties of systems which mediate effects, and the distinctions which are possible among different types of adaptation. A classification scheme is proposed for differentiating adaptation strategies.
Tourism in island states is vulnerable to climate change because it may result in detrimental changes in relation to extreme events, sea level rise, transport and communication interruption. This study analyses adaptation to climate change by tourist resorts in Fiji, as well as their potential to reduce climate change through reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Interviews, site visitations, and an accommodation survey were undertaken. Many operators already prepare for climate-related events and therefore adapt to potential impacts resulting from climate change. Reducing emissions is not important to operators; however, decreasing energy costs for economic reasons is practised. Recommendations for further initiatives are made and synergies between the adaptation and mitigation approaches are explored.
This article explores the possibilities of using social protection to manage and reduce the risks of forced displacement resulting from climate change. It reviews the relevant literature on migration, disasters and climate change, and constructs a model through which international policies may be used to encourage resettlement options that support the capabilities and entitlements of poor and vulnerable populations. By distinguishing between rapid-onset disasters and long-term environmental change, it explores the ways in which cash transfers, asset transfers and conditional cash transfers may be used to break the cycle of vulnerability, destitution and distress migration that can occur during times of severe environmental stress. An important distinction is made between “economic migration,” which implies that households have at their disposal an opportunity to engage in forward-looking analysis about the ways in which they will invest household resources and “distress migration,” which implies that household decisions about investment and migration are largely ad hoc responses to external environmental processes and events. The article reviews recent discussions about the prospects of revising the international refugee regime, and identifies the opportunities and challenges of using social protection to support household decisions that can facilitate economic migration over the long-term.
While corporate adaptation strategies in response to climate change have been characterized, the determinants of adaptation have not been comprehensively analyzed. Knowledge of these determinants is particularly useful for policy makers to provide favorable conditions in support of corporate adaptation measures. Based on unique data from a survey of Swiss ski lift operators, this paper empirically examines such determinants at the business level. Our econometric analysis with linear regression and count data
models finds a positive influence of the awareness of possible climate change effects on the scope of corporate adaptation. Surprisingly, no significant influence of the vulnerability to climate change effects on the scope of adaptation could be found. Finally, the dependency on the affected business and the ability to adapt influence the specific strategic directions of corporate adaptation.
Vulnerability, adaptation and resilience are concepts that are finding increasing currency in several fields of research as well as in various policy and practitioner communities engaged in global environmental change science, climate change, sustainability science, disaster risk-reduction and famine interventions. As scientists and practitioners increasingly work together in this arena a number of questions are emerging: What is credible, salient and legitimate knowledge, how is this knowledge generated and how is it used in decision making? Drawing on important science in this field, and including a case study from southern Africa, we suggest an alternative mode of interaction to the usual one-way interaction between science and practice often used. In this alternative approach, different experts, risk-bearers, and local communities are involved and knowledge and practice is contested, co-produced and reflected upon. Despite some successes in the use and negotiation of such knowledge for ‘real’ world issues, a number of problems persist that require further investigation including the difficulties of developing consensus on the methodologies used by a range of stakeholders usually across a wide region (as the case study of southern Africa shows, particularly in determining and identifying vulnerable groups, sectors, and systems); slow delivery of products that could enhance resilience to change that reflects not only a lack of data, and need for scientific credibility, but also the time-consuming process of coming to a negotiated understanding in science–practice interactions and, finally, the need to clarify the role of ‘external’ agencies, stakeholders, and scientists at the outset of the dialogue process and subsequent interactions. Such factors, we argue, all hinder the use of vulnerability and resilience ‘knowledge’ that is being generated and will require much more detailed investigation by both producers and users of such knowledge.
This paper explores the value of using community risk assessments (CRAs) for climate change adaptation. CRA refers to participatory methods to assess hazards, vulnerabilities and capacities in support of community-based disaster risk reduction, used by many NGOs, community-based organizations, and the Red Cross/Red Crescent. We review the evolution of climate change adaptation and community-based disaster risk reduction, and highlight the challenges of integrating global climate change into a bottom-up and place-based approach. Our analysis of CRAs carried out by various national Red Cross societies shows that CRAs can help address those challenges by fostering community engagement in climate risk reduction, particularly given that many strategies to deal with current climate risks also help to reduce vulnerability to climate change. Climate change can also be explicitly incorporated in CRAs by making better use of CRA tools to assess trends, and by addressing the notion of changing risks. However, a key challenge is to keep CRAs simple enough for wide application. This demands special attention in the modification of CRA tools; in the background materials and trainings for CRA facilitators; and in the guidance for interpretation of CRA outcomes. A second challenge is the application of a limited set of CRA results to guide risk reduction in other communities and to inform national and international adaptation policy. This requires specific attention for sampling and care in scaling up qualitative findings. Finally, stronger linkages are needed between organizations facilitating CRAs and suppliers of climate information, particularly addressing the translation of climate information to the community level.
This article explores the role of risk perception in adaptation to stress through comparative case studies of coffee farmers’ responses to climatic and non-climatic stressors. We hypothesized that farmers associating these changes with high risk would be more likely to make adaptations than those who saw the events as part of normal variation. Nevertheless, we found that farmers who associated events with high risk were not more likely to engage in specific adaptations. Adaptive responses were more clearly associated with access to land than perception of risk, suggesting that adaptation is more a function of exogenous constraints on decision making than perception.
This article examines adaptation decision-making through a diversified livelihoods strategy that distributes risk across market and subsistence production in Ghana's Central Region. Specifically, it asks how this strategy, which is an adaptation to a relatively recent convergence of economic and environmental uncertainty in this context, is accepted and reproduced by society at large, even as this adaptation results in unevenly distributed benefits and costs. An examination of the case in question suggests that the persistence of this adaptation has little to do with its material outcomes. This adaptation persists because, despite its unequal and less-than-optimal material outcomes, it is rooted in the ability of men to link this adaptation to existing gender roles, thereby legitimizing the adaptation and the gendered roles it relies upon. This finding calls into question the very idea of a successful adaptation, and suggests that much more attention must be paid to the persistence of particular adaptations if we are to understand existing adaptations and build upon them to enhance local capacities for managing economic and environmental change.
We identify and examine how policy intervention can help Canada's Inuit population adapt to climate change. The policy responses are based on an understanding of the determinants of vulnerability identified in research conducted with 15 Inuit communities. A consistent approach was used in each case study where vulnerability is conceptualized as a function of exposure-sensitivity to climatic risks and adaptive capacity to deal with those risks. This conceptualization focuses on the biophysical and human determinants of vulnerability and how they are influenced by processes and conditions operating at multiple spatial-temporal scales. Case studies involved close collaboration with community members and policy makers to identify conditions to which each community is currently vulnerable, characterize the factors that shape vulnerability and how they have changed over time, identify opportunities for adaptation policy, and examine how adaptation can be mainstreamed. Fieldwork, conducted between 2006 and 2009, included 443 semi-structured interviews, 20 focus groups/community workshops, and 65 interviews with policy makers at local, regional, and national levels. Synthesizing findings consistent across the case studies we document significant vulnerabilities, a function of socio-economic stresses and change, continuing and pervasive inequality, and magnitude of climate change. Nevertheless, adaptations are available, feasible, and Inuit have considerable adaptive capacity. Realizing this adaptive capacity and overcoming adaptation barriers requires policy intervention to: (i) support the teaching and transmission of environmental knowledge and land skills, (ii) enhance and review emergency management capability, (iii) ensure the flexibility of resource management regimes, (iv) provide economic support to facilitate adaptation for groups with limited household income, (v) increase research effort to identify short and long term risk factors and adaptive response options, (vi) protect key infrastructure, and (vii) promote awareness of climate change impacts and adaptation among policy makers.
This study employed data from the 2005/06 Uganda national household survey to identify adaptation strategies and factors governing their choice in Uganda's agricultural production. Factors that mediate or hinder adaptation across different shocks and strategies include age of the household head, access to credit and extension facilities and security of land tenure. There are also differences in choice of adaptation strategies by agro-climatic zone. The appropriate policy level responses should complement the autonomous adaptation strategies by facilitating technology adoption and availing information to farmers not only with regard to climate related forecasts but available weather and pest resistant varieties.Highlights► This study identifies the main climate change adaptation strategies and factors governing their choice in Uganda's agricultural production. ► Households in Uganda respond to the various climate related shocks by reducing consumption, using past savings, technology and borrowing. ► These choices are influenced by land tenure security, access to off-farm employment, extension and credit access, and agro-ecological zone. ► Policy responses should focus on complementing autonomous strategies by strengthening the ability of households to adapt to climate change.
The need to tackle climate hazards and development efforts simultaneously is widely acknowledged. However, the possibility of alternative visions of development is seldom contemplated. Instead, adaptation research usually assumes monolithic claims about development constructed from the status quo of global capitalism. This paper outlines a critical approach to adaptation and explores the interplay between visions of development, governance structures, and strategies to cope with hurricanes in the Mexican Caribbean, a region at the ‘front line’ of both globalization and climatic extreme phenomena. Critical adaptation formulates the experiencing of hazards as essentially political and tied to contingent development paths, which may eventually become hegemonic. Over a hundred semi-structured and open interviews were held in Cancun, Mahahual, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum including academics, businesspeople, bureaucrats, journalists, non-governmental organizations and tourism workers in order to characterize development visions in the Mexican Caribbean. Findings show a prevalent hegemonic vision supporting mass tourism growth which encourages hurricane coping strategies based on effective evacuation and attracting investments for rapid economic recovery. The actual implementation of this vision increases social inequalities, degrades ecosystems, and amplifies overall exposure to extreme events. Mass tourism is enforced by undemocratic governance structures sustained by a coalition of government and tourism corporations (a government-capital bloc in Gramsci's sense). Some weak signs of counter-hegemony were identified in Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual. These isolated episodes of resistance might have triggered alternative coping strategies despite having little effect in altering the overall course of development. Further critical research is needed to unveil the socio-political foundations of development visions and their influence on capacities to cope with climatic extreme events.Research highlights▶ Critical adaptation analyzes the influence of development visions and governance structures on the strategies to cope with climate risk. ▶ Hegemonic historic blocs, such as the bloc formed by government and tourist corporations in the Mexican Caribbean, selectively support those coping strategies that contribute to reinforce hegemony. ▶ Capitalist development enclaves, such as Cancun, display hegemonic coping strategies which discourage alternative strategies derived from counter-hegemonic visions. ▶ Counter-hegemonic development visions increase the diversity of coping strategies and may enhance the adaptability of a social system.
Projections of future climate change are plagued with uncertainties, causing difficulties for planners taking decisions on adaptation measures. This paper presents an assessment framework that allows the identification of adaptation strategies that are robust (i.e. insensitive) to climate change uncertainties. The framework is applied to a case study of water resources management in the East of England, more specifically to the Anglian Water Services’ 25 year Water Resource Plan (WRP). The paper presents a local sensitivity analysis (a ‘one-at-a-time’ experiment) of the various elements of the modelling framework (e.g., emissions of greenhouse gases, climate sensitivity and global climate models) in order to determine whether or not a decision to adapt to climate change is sensitive to uncertainty in those elements.Water resources are found to be sensitive to uncertainties in regional climate response (from general circulation models and dynamical downscaling), in climate sensitivity and in climate impacts. Aerosol forcing and greenhouse gas emissions uncertainties are also important, whereas uncertainties from ocean mixing and the carbon cycle are not. Despite these large uncertainties, Anglian Water Services’ WRP remains robust to the climate change uncertainties sampled because of the adaptation options being considered (e.g. extension of water treatment works), because the climate model used for their planning (HadCM3) predicts drier conditions than other models, and because ‘one-at-a-time’ experiments do not sample the combination of different extremes in the uncertainty range of parameters. This research raises the question of how much certainty is required in climate change projections to justify investment in adaptation measures, and whether such certainty can be delivered.
Africa is widely held to be highly vulnerable to future climate change and Ethiopia is often cited as one of the most extreme examples. With this in mind we seek to identify entry points to integrate short- to medium-term climate risk reduction within development activities in Africa, drawing from experiences in Ethiopia. To achieve this we employ a range of data and methods. We examine the changing nature of climate risks using analysis of recent climate variability, future climate scenarios and their secondary impacts. We assess the effects of climate variability on agricultural production and national GDP. Entry points and knowledge gaps in relation to mainstreaming climate risks in Ethiopia are identified using the Government's plan for poverty reduction. We end with a case study incorporating climate risks through drought insurance within the current social protection programme in Ethiopia, which provides support to 8.3 million people.
This study identifies the major methods used by farmers to adapt to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia, the factors that affect their choice of method, and the barriers to adaptation. The methods identified include use of different crop varieties, tree planting, soil conservation, early and late planting, and irrigation. Results from the discrete choice model employed indicate that the level of education, gender, age, and wealth of the head of household; access to extension and credit; information on climate, social capital, agroecological settings, and temperature all influence farmers’ choices. The main barriers include lack of information on adaptation methods and financial constraints.
Since the late 1980s, scientists and policy makers have devoted considerable attention and resources to the issue of global climate change. Domestic and international policies in response focus primarily on prevention of future climate impacts on society through the mitigation of carbon dioxide emissions. Academic and political attention is also largely focused on issues of mitigation. Adaptation refers to adjustments in individual, group, and institutional behavior in order to reduce society’s vulnerabilities to climate, and thus reduce its impacts. In 1996, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote that adaptation offers a ‘very powerful option’ for responding to climate change and ought to be viewed as a ‘complement’ to mitigation efforts. Yet, the IPCC also wrote that ‘little attention has been paid to any possible tradeoff between both types of options’. This paper discusses the limitations of mitigation responses and the need for adaptation to occupy a larger role in climate policy.
Perceptions of a continuing crisis in managing Sahelian resources are rooted in five dimensions of the Sahel Drought of 1972–1974 as it was understood at the time: crises in rainfall (drought), food supply, livestock management, environmental degradation, and household coping capabilities. A closer examination of household livelihood and farming systems shows that adaptive strategies have been evolved in response to each of these imperatives. Illustrations are provided from recent research in north–east Nigeria. A systematic understanding of indigenous adaptive capabilities can provide a basis for policies enabling a reduction of dependency on aid assistance in the Sahel.