In the Local Solutions 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
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
Out stealing firewood
October comes over. The electricity prices headline the front page of your wallet. In the special offer counter of your local grocery store you spot vegan hot dogs, 40% off. They expire today. Perfect.
Clean cooking: A recipe for a better world
Switching cooking in developing countries to cleaner forms of energy will lead to better health and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The 4CImpacts project looks at how gas use can be scaled up in Tanzania, and what consequences it will have for the climate, health and society.
Adaptation | Energy consumption | Just transition | Health
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.
In January 2021, the Norwegian government presented an ambitious plan to reduce Norway's climate emissions by up to 55 percent by 2030 compared with 1990 (Ministry of Climate and Environment 2021). To achieve this, transport policy must support comprehensive emission reductions that are at the same time perceived as sufficiently fair that it can be maintained over time. This is the starting point in the collaborative project SUSTAIN.
Transport | Climate transition in Norwegian municipalities | Acceptance