Climate and society
In the Climate and society group, we do research on and for transformation processes towards a low-emission and climatically adapted society. In doing so, we analyze interactions between relevant processes and actors at different scales in order to produce high-quality research that is applicable for various societal actors.
About the research group
By drawing on both qualitative and quantitative methods, we investigate how individuals, and different societal groups influence and respond to the combined effects of social, political and environmental changes.
While climate change is a global phenomenon, the transformation towards a low-emission and climatically adapted society must take place at the local scale. Research within the Local Solution group addresses how societal actors and groups can work together to develop place-based solutions to the climate problem.
Local social, economic and cultural conditions influence how different actors perceive climate change, and their capacities for adaptation and transformation. Many societal actors face a double challenge in meeting the demands to reduce their emissions and adapt to changing and uncertain weather patterns. Nature-based sectors such as agriculture and renewable energy production are particularly challenged, but also the housing and transport sectors must prepare to face more extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change. Municipalities, businesses, and citizens all have an active role to play in shaping societal development and transformation processes. However, actors’ capacities for change are shaped by a range of social factors, including national laws and regulations, market conditions, cultural norms such as gender roles and relations, and individual and collective beliefs and preferences. Through in-depth and comparative study of specific cases, we can analyze how large-scale processes, such as changes in climate, policies, markets and social structures interact with more specific, regional, sectoral, and local conditions for climate adaptation and transformation.
Our projects are typically interdisciplinary and include stakeholder partners who actively participate in the research process (KPN and IPN projects). Together, we co-produce relevant knowledge in order to find local solutions to the challenges of transformation. Through holistic analyses of social-ecological and social-technical systems, we look at how generic processes of change can have variable and highly place-specific consequences, as well as how various actors are differentiated in how they are affected by and respond to such changes.
We employ both qualitative and quantitative data, depending on our research questions, combining, for example, qualitative data from in-depth interviews and extensive ethnographic fieldworks with results from quantitative surveys and model-based calculations. Geographically, we focus on Norway, the Arctic, the EU, and a selection of developing countries in Asia and Africa.
Members of the group
Understanding the impact of energy policies on inequality in India
India must reduce its emissions and meet sustainable development goals at the same time. How can the shift to renewable energy be a more just transition in the world’s most populous country?
Just transition | International climate policy | Climate negotiations | Renewable energy
Wind power and export of electricity are controversial topics. Understanding what makes them controversial can lead to improved regulations and more broadly acceptable solutions.
Renewable energy | Norwegian climate policy | Wind power | Acceptance
FLYWELL - how to reduce air travel and at the same time maintain a high quality of life.
The goal of FLYWELL is to engage people and organizations in Norway in reducing the environmental impact of air travel. For many people, air travel is linked to quality of life. Travelling for work, leisure, and family is often associated with experiences of relatedness, belonging, physical health, autonomy, and freedom, all identified as human or basic needs in the well-being literature.
Consumer behaviour | Transport | Just transition
eLife - how to circulate more electronics
Consumption of electrical and electronic products (e-products) in households contributes to increasing amounts of hazardous EE waste, environmental damage and greenhouse gas emissions. While actors within business, voluntary organizations and the public sector have increasingly been driving forces to implement strategies for a more circular economy, consumers have been far less involved.
ZEESA - How to develop zero emission energy systems for the Arctic
The ZEESA research project aims to provide knowledge on how best to develop integrated renewable energy systems for demanding Arctic conditions. The project is a "Competence-building project for business" that works across natural science and social science methods.
Renewable energy | Technology for change | Acceptance | Arctic