Decision-making for climate adaptation

To understand what promotes good decision making for climate adaptation researchers in Klima 2050 with particular help from partners at NVE, Jernbaneverket, Statens Vegvesen and Statsbygg examined guidelines for climate adaptation. We restricted the surveyed guidelines that provide information about how to avoid damage to buildings and infrastructure caused by water (stormwater, floods and landslides). There are a large number of guidelines for adaptation of buildings and infrastructure. Altogether 84 guidelines/websites are categorized. There is a risk that the amount of guidelines in itself can lead to confusion and uncertainty among the users. The largest share of guidelines are dealing with adaptation of buildings. Furthermore, there are categories storm water, water quality, sewage and drainage, as well as landslides and floods that are large. There are few guidelines on comprehensive planning, none of which goes in depth on issues like decision-making and collaboration. See figure below for distrubution on sectors and topics.

  Persentage distribution of the 84 guidelines categorized into topics.

Persentage distribution of the 84 guidelines categorized into topics.

The review also shows that a high percentage of guidelines communicate climate change at a general level, focusing on background information on climate change rather than going in depth into practical measures. Many of the guidelines have unspecified or broad audience. This can make communication less effective.

A review and expert interviews also revealed that extreme weather events are a strong driver to start mapping risk and vulnerability in a municipality, plan of care zones and measures to prevent new disasters. The barriers to implementing adaptation in local planning, lack of collaboration within the municipalities (especially between Water and Sewerage Authority and Building Services), and between municipalities. In addition, it is apparent that networks between municipalities (cities), NGOs and researchers contribute to increased focus on climate change in the municipalities. Framtidens Byer (Cities of the Future) is an example of such a network. Furthermore, it will be important to gain expertise and focus on adaptation also among the smaller municipalities that have not been participating in this type of networks. Better knowledge about the effects and consequences of the Norwegian insurance system and a better understanding of conditions to change business practices to achieve better decision making is central to the centre.