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O steward, my captain, what will the sea do to us? : adding a risk governance perspective to climate change adaptation planning in Malmö

Zirngiebl, Marthe LU (2015) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20151
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
Climate change is shifting from being seen as a future prediction once, the realisation that it is already a reality is growing. Action to combat its impacts has to be taken now. Next to mitigation measures increasing emphasis is put on climate change adaptation action. While mitigation aims to tackle global climate change, adaptation focuses on reducing the local impacts. Climate change adaptation can be seen as surrounded by uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Thus, decision-making is not clear-cut but the expression of a societal or political will to implement measures. Despite the issue being on the political agenda for almost ten years, comprehensive adaptation plans remain the exception and adaptation efforts fragmented.... (More)
Climate change is shifting from being seen as a future prediction once, the realisation that it is already a reality is growing. Action to combat its impacts has to be taken now. Next to mitigation measures increasing emphasis is put on climate change adaptation action. While mitigation aims to tackle global climate change, adaptation focuses on reducing the local impacts. Climate change adaptation can be seen as surrounded by uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Thus, decision-making is not clear-cut but the expression of a societal or political will to implement measures. Despite the issue being on the political agenda for almost ten years, comprehensive adaptation plans remain the exception and adaptation efforts fragmented. Moreover, social vulnerabilities, citizen inclusion, and the recognition of a potential diversity of values remain unaddressed. This thesis focuses on climate change adaptation in Malmö municipality. Malmö displays a high diversity among its inhabitants, which implies that this diversity in values and vulnerabilities should be addressed in climate change adaptation planning, too. Since climate change adaptation is often framed in risk jargon and overlaps with other municipal efforts in disaster risk reduction, it can be investigated from a risk perspective.
This thesis sets out to evaluate if ideas underlying risk governance and the International Risk Governance Council’s framework for risk governance in particular can be helpful in overcoming the aforementioned shortcomings. Risk governance describes the interactions between different actors involved in decision-making concerning uncertain, complex, and ambiguous risks. Doing so it gives recommendations for including a variety of stakeholders and affected citizens. By conducting a document analysis of Malmö’s municipal documents referring to climate change adaptation strategies using key concepts from risk governance, this thesis found that citizen inclusion in framing and addressing climate change related risks is not the norm in Malmö. Furthermore, climate change risks are not assessed with the help of local knowledge in assessing vulnerabilities relying primarily on national climate scenarios. Despite being a useful analytic tool, which highlights the shortcomings in climate change adaptation planning, it is questionable if the risk governance framework will be of any help in overcoming problems arising from a lack of funds, the fragmented institutional structure, difficulties in motivating stakeholder integration, and a potential decrease in trust if decisions on risks are apparently informed by a lay audience. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Zirngiebl, Marthe LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20151
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
risk governance, climate change adaptation, urban, stakeholder inclusion, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2015:013
language
English
id
5467339
date added to LUP
2015-06-09 13:57:48
date last changed
2015-06-09 13:57:48
@misc{5467339,
  abstract     = {Climate change is shifting from being seen as a future prediction once, the realisation that it is already a reality is growing. Action to combat its impacts has to be taken now. Next to mitigation measures increasing emphasis is put on climate change adaptation action. While mitigation aims to tackle global climate change, adaptation focuses on reducing the local impacts. Climate change adaptation can be seen as surrounded by uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. Thus, decision-making is not clear-cut but the expression of a societal or political will to implement measures. Despite the issue being on the political agenda for almost ten years, comprehensive adaptation plans remain the exception and adaptation efforts fragmented. Moreover, social vulnerabilities, citizen inclusion, and the recognition of a potential diversity of values remain unaddressed. This thesis focuses on climate change adaptation in Malmö municipality. Malmö displays a high diversity among its inhabitants, which implies that this diversity in values and vulnerabilities should be addressed in climate change adaptation planning, too. Since climate change adaptation is often framed in risk jargon and overlaps with other municipal efforts in disaster risk reduction, it can be investigated from a risk perspective. 
This thesis sets out to evaluate if ideas underlying risk governance and the International Risk Governance Council’s framework for risk governance in particular can be helpful in overcoming the aforementioned shortcomings. Risk governance describes the interactions between different actors involved in decision-making concerning uncertain, complex, and ambiguous risks. Doing so it gives recommendations for including a variety of stakeholders and affected citizens. By conducting a document analysis of Malmö’s municipal documents referring to climate change adaptation strategies using key concepts from risk governance, this thesis found that citizen inclusion in framing and addressing climate change related risks is not the norm in Malmö. Furthermore, climate change risks are not assessed with the help of local knowledge in assessing vulnerabilities relying primarily on national climate scenarios. Despite being a useful analytic tool, which highlights the shortcomings in climate change adaptation planning, it is questionable if the risk governance framework will be of any help in overcoming problems arising from a lack of funds, the fragmented institutional structure, difficulties in motivating stakeholder integration, and a potential decrease in trust if decisions on risks are apparently informed by a lay audience.},
  author       = {Zirngiebl, Marthe},
  keyword      = {risk governance,climate change adaptation,urban,stakeholder inclusion,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {O steward, my captain, what will the sea do to us? : adding a risk governance perspective to climate change adaptation planning in Malmö},
  year         = {2015},
}