Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development

Governance, Democracy and Sustainable Development

Moving Beyond the Impasse

Edited by James Meadowcroft, Oluf Langhelle and Audun Ruud

The contributors explore the difficulties developed countries are experiencing in coming to terms with environmental limits and the resultant challenges to the democratic polity. They engage with different dimensions of the governance challenge including norms, public attitudes, citizen engagement, political conflict, policy design, and implementation, and with a range of environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity/nature protection, and water management. The book concludes with an essay by William Lafferty that explores the flawed character of the contemporary democratic polity and offers his reflections on possible pathways to reform.

Chapter 5: Early experiences of local climate change adaptation in Norwegian society

Carlo Aall

Subjects: environment, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, public policy, regulation and governance


This chapter is based on findings from a number of joint research projects between the Western Norway Research Institute (WNRI) and ProSus dating back to 1996. This cooperation started with a project on assessing the status of local environmental policy and Local Agenda 21 (LA21) in Norway (Lafferty et al. 1998), followed up by an evaluation of the first government-funded project on promoting the implementation of LA21 in Norway (Aall et al. 1999). Parallel to these two projects, ProSus had developed a combined research effort through a European Union project on LA21, which led to two volumes comparing LA21 in a number of European countries (Lafferty and Eckerberg 1998; Lafferty 2001). In both of these books the contribution on Norway was produced by WNRI. The joint research efforts on LA21 also resulted in the publication of two coedited scientific books on LA21 in Norwegian (Aall et al. 2002a; Lafferty et al. 2006). This cooperation also included several reports on local environmental policy and LA21. Over time it was expanded to include research on local climate change mitigation policy (Lindseth 2006; Aall et al. 2007) and local climate change adaptation (Aall and Norland 2003; Næss et al. 2006). Since the start of this cooperation the environmental policy agenda has changed, and the topic that has succeeded LA21 as the hottest local issue is climate policy, in which local climate change adaptation (LCCA) is the latest addition to this process. In this chapter I examine this latest entrant to the local environmental policy agenda and assess the early experiences of LCCA in Norway. In doing so I refer to insights gained from the many previous studies by ProSus and WNRI on local environment policy and LA21.

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