Transforming Local Climate Adaptation Organization: Barriers and Progress in 13 Swedish Municipalities


Photo: Jonas Jacobsson

Local strategies and policies are key in climate adaptation, although research shows significant barriers to progress. Sweden, often seen as progressive in climate change issues, has struggled in adopting a sufficient local climate adaptation organization. CNDS ​fellow Mikael Granberg (Karlstad University) and his colleague Ann-Catrin Kristianssen (Örebro University) took a deeper look at this issue.


In their article they describe and analyze the climate adaptation organization in 13 Swedish municipalities from five perspectives: Problem framing, administrative and political agency, administrative and political structures, measures and solutions, and the role of learning. The mapping of these perspectives provides an opportunity to analyze barriers to local climate adaptation. Key policy documents have been studied including climate adaptation plans, crisis management plans, and regulatory documents, as well as documents from private consultants. Their study showed that few municipalities have a formal organization for climate adaptation, clear structures, political support, and specific climate adaptation plans. At the same time, many of the municipalities are planning for transformation, due to a push from the county board, a lead agency in climate adaptation. There are also ample networks providing opportunities for learning among municipalities and regions. Their study concluded that one key barrier is the lack of focus and prioritization in a majority of the municipalities, leaving the administrators, often planners, in a more activist position. The need for organizational mainstreaming and resources is emphasized.

Read the full article here.