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Edited by Mathieu Winand and Christos Anagnostopoulos

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Colin Jones

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Michael Mullan and Andrea Dertinger

Adaptation policy is being pursed among most of the world’s most economically developed nations. The common theme of these approaches has been the emphasis on mainstreaming adaptation, albeit with differences in countries’ approaches to achieving this goal. Does the existence of high general adaptive capacity actually translate into adaptation, and under what conditions? This chapter surveys adaptation policy among the member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which consists of 35 industrialized nations. It examines the state of progress across these countries, informed by a survey of member countries and the national evaluations that have been undertaken. The chapter also addresses the focus on adaptation in relation to sectoral priorities (such as the role of infrastructure protection versusother sectors).

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Kristie L. Ebi and Kathryn J. Bowen

Climate variability and change are adversely affecting population health, increasing injuries, illnesses and deaths from a wide range of health outcomes that are sensitive to weather and climate. Adaptation is underway to increase the ability of individuals and health systems to prepare for and manage projected risks. However, current efforts focus more on incremental than transformative adaptation. Barriers and constraints include limited awareness, low levels of investment and insufficient consideration of projected risks with climate change. Despite this, there is substantial potential for adaptation policies and programmes to alleviate current global health challenges, and to do so in a way that also reduces health inequalities and increases resilience to the health risks of a changing climate. Scaling up the initiatives underway, and sharing lessons learned, could support policy and programmatic changes globally.

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Dean V. Williamson

The research illuminates the role of financial structure (debt or equity financing) and contract renegotiation in enabling efficient adaptation over the course of long-term exchange.I provide evidence from a dataset of electricity marketing contracts about how electricity generators and electricity marketers use four instruments – contract duration, risk-sharing schemes, financial structure, and veto provisions – to channel investment incentives and to address both programmable and unprogrammable demands for contract adjustments.The empirical results demonstrate that veto provisions support long-term contracts by investing the governance of long-term relationships with flexibility in the ancillarity of other instruments that are consistent with efficient adaptation being an important economic problem.

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Debra Javeline and Sophia N. Chau

The vulnerability of ecosystems to climate change is in many ways intractable. Humans may intervene to protect ecosystems, but the persistence of the very anthropogenic activities that initially threatened the biosphere often thwarts progress. Long before the relatively recent concerns about climate change, efforts to protect ecosystems confronted anthropogenic threats such as land use change, deforestation, resource depletion, pollution and invasive species. Against this backdrop, the authors examine whether and how conservation policy addresses the added impacts of climate change. Their findings are mostly discouraging. Adaptation of ecosystems typically involves enhancing traditional conservation strategies such as protected areas, corridors and ex situ conservation, along with the occasional novel strategy such as the deliberate relocation of species. Finite space and resources along with relentless climate impacts restrict the application and effectiveness of available strategies. While there are notable conservation successes, adaptation policy _ to the extent that it exists _ has not contributed much to these successes, and natural systems continue to spiral toward mass extinction and ecosystem dysfunction.

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Chase A. Sova and E. Lisa F. Schipper

Developing countries are in urgent need of adaptation planning due to their high vulnerability to climate change. In order to be effective in developing countries, adaptation must take place in conjunction with multiple, rapidly occurring processes of change. This includes existing development deficits, the changing landscape of development funding, and broader forces of globalization. This chapter seeks to outline what makes adaptation policy development and implementation unique in developing countries, explores the international policy instruments established in support of developing countries, and highlights examples of successful policy implementation in developing country settings. In doing so, the chapter addresses the constraints and opportunities for adaptation in developing countries including socio-economic, political and physical geography considerations.

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Meg Parsons and Johanna Nalau

This chapter focuses on adaptation policy specifically as it pertains to Pacific small island developing states (SIDS) that are often identified as being particularly vulnerable to climate change. The chapter explores the role of social and political institutions in adaptation policy development and implementation and the kinds of conceptualizations, which are used about the SIDS in global climate adaptation discourse. Of particular interest is how the unique social and political structures of small islands combined with the perceive urgency of climate risks influences the adaptation policy and planning discussions. It sets out the underpinnings of postcolonialism and explains how such theorizing can increase the depth of understandings in regards to climate adaptation policy development and practice with a focus on the Pacific SIDS. The authors share several examples of how adaptation policy processes currently fail to include the socio-cultural contexts of Pacific nations, and suggest key research and policy directions which could build on a more inclusive and holistic view of Pacific SIDS.

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Robbert Biesbroek and Rob Swart

The European Union (EU) is a supranational entity for which climate change adaptation has become an important policy topic. This chapter seeks to address the question of how the EU currently governs climate change adaptation. The authors show how the open method of coordination as governing logic offers the possibility for the European Commission to mainstream climate change adaptation considerations through the acquiscommunautaire. Moreover, this approach also offers the Commission the possibility to stimulate the exchange of best practices, setting up new policy, practice and knowledge networks, involving non-governmental organizations and the private sector in adaptation, and to facilitate coordination and cooperation between member states and regions. Beyond these mostly procedural policy tools, however, the EU has very limited power to force member states to start adapting. The authors reflect on what these insights from the EU mean for governing climate change adaptation at the supranational level in general.

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Wolfgang Drechsler

The chapter begins by critiquing current US (and Dutch) public administration scholarship and journal publishing for being narrow and asserting a ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church’ positivistic approach to the study of the discipline. It argues that ‘the focus of PA today is gaming the real idea of PA as a scholarly discipline or area, is focusing at best on producing shadows on the wall of the cave, so that content – one could argue – summarily falls to the side’. This is similar to political science and economics, but in those subjects, it doesnot matter as they have only a tenuous relationship to reality. In public administration, however, it does matter as the purpose of research in public administration is to connect theory and practice; to be useful. The problem is that the application of method has become the point, not the tool, privileging form over content. He calls for a recognition of methodological and cognitive diversity, especially in regard to Non-Western Public Administration and the resurrection of the study and development of public administration philosophy. After all, he ponders, if we cannot do things differently to machines then his apocryphal Dutch Professor could write papers using a computer algorithm; perhaps some already do.