CICERO - Senter for klimaforskning

Overcoming barriers to climate change adaptation a question of multilevel governance?

Helene Amundsen, Frode Viktor Berglund, Hege Westskog

This paper analyses the results from two surveys which were sent to all Norwegian municipalities in 2007 and gives an overview of adaptation measures undertaken by local governments. Our analyses show that municipalities have more often invested in measures related to extreme precipitation and flooding than in measures for securing buildings and infrastructure against climate change. One key factor explaining their efforts is whether they have experienced extreme events. Hence adaptation efforts are mainly reactive. With a changing climate comes a greater demand for proactive adaptation processes, as well as knowledge of how adaptation policies and measures could be implemented successfully. This paper emphasises the importance of enhancing institutional capacity in order to address the challenges of climate change adaptation at the municipal level; and asserts that a multilevel governance framework is a way of advancing proactive adaptation and overcoming the identified barriers to adaptation.

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