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New Levels of Climate Adaptation Policy: Analyzing the Institutional Interplay in the Baltic Sea Region

Listed author(s):
  • Erik Glaas


    (Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR)/Department of Thematic Studies, Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, Norrköping, SE-601 74, Sweden)

  • Sirkku Juhola


    (Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics, Aalto University, Helsinki, FI-00076, Finland
    Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, FI.00014, Finland)

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    International policy development and expected climate change impacts such as flooding, landslides, and the extinction of sensitive species have forced countries around the Baltic Sea to begin working on national climate adaptation policies. Simultaneously, the EU is building both a central and a macro-regional Baltic Sea-wide adaptation strategy to support national policy developments. However, it yet remains unclear how these EU strategies will complement each other or national policies. This article analyzes the constraints and opportunities presented by this new institutional interplay and discusses the potential of the forthcoming EU strategies to support national policy. It does so by mapping how adaptation is institutionalized in two case countries, Sweden and Finland, and is organized in the two EU approaches. The vertical institutional interplay between scales is analyzed in terms of three factors: competence, capacity, and compatibility. R esults indicate institutional constraints related to: risks of policy complexity for sub-national actors, an unclear relationship between the two EU approaches, an overly general approach to targeting contextualized climate change vulnerabilities, and a general lack of strategies to steer adaptation. However, there are also opportunities linked to an anticipated increased commitment to the national management of adaptation, especially related to biodiversity issues.

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    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 1-20

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:256-275:d:22966
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    1. Petersen, Thomas & Klauer, Bernd & Manstetten, Reiner, 2009. "The environment as a challenge for governmental responsibility -- The case of the European Water Framework Directive," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2058-2065, May.
    2. Lisa Westerhoff & E. Carina H. Keskitalo & Sirkku Juhola, 2011. "Capacities across scales: local to national adaptation policy in four European countries," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4), pages 1071-1085, July.
    3. Mattias Hjerpe & Erik Glaas, 2012. "Evolving local climate adaptation strategies: incorporating influences of socio–economic stress," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 471-486, June.
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