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Responding to Climate Change: The Potentials of and Limits to Adaptation in Norway (PLAN)

PLAN logoPLAN is a large, coordinated social science-based research project that analyzes the potentials of and limits to adaptation as a response to climate change in Norway.

The project addresses three key research questions:
1) How do social processes influence the capacity to adapt to climate change?
2) What are the limits to adaptation as a response to changing climate conditions?
3) What are the implications of these limits for human security?

The project studies adaptation across different communities and sectors. FNI is responsible for a sub-project focusing on adaptation in the Norwegian energy sector, 'New Public Management (NPM) and the Energy Sector’s Ability to Adapt to Climate Change'. The more specific aim of this sub-project is to examine whether and how NPM reforms, in the forms of changes in administrative organisation and practices, have affected the capacity for adapting to climate change.

Research questions posed in FNI's energy sector sub-project are:
1) How well-adapted are the energy sectors in Norway and Sweden to climate change-related weather events?
2) To which degree and in what ways have NPM-reforms and weather-induced events affected the adaptive capacity of the energy sectors in Norway and Sweden?
3) How may the adaptive capacity of Norwegian and Swedish energy sectors be explained?
4) How can the adaptive capacity of the Norwegian energy sector be improved in order to cope with future climate change-related weather events?

The energy sector has been chosen due to its vulnerability to climate change-induced weather effects, its saliency in the functioning of the society, and its history of NPM-reforms, including privatization of public enterprises and energy services. Norway and Sweden can be considered contrasting cases due to similar but not identical NPM-models, and to differences in weather experiences. Norway occasionally experiences extreme weather events, whereas the weather conditions are less extreme in Sweden and hence likely to be less planned-for. Recently, however, Sweden did experience an extreme weather event when the hurricane “Gudrun” hit the southern part of the country in 2005.

The PLAN project involves a great number of research institutions in Norway, Sweden, UK and USA (see list in the right-hand column) and is co-ordinated by Dr. Karen O'Brian at the Institute for Human Geography, University of Oslo. The project is part of the Research Council of Norway's NORKLIMA programme.

For more information about the project, see the PLAN website.

Project leader at FNI: Tor Håkon Inderberg

Project period: 2007-2012


Inderberg, Tor Håkon, Formal Structure and Culture: Organizational Influence on Adaptive Capacity to Climate Change in Quasi-public Network Sectors. Doctoral dissertation, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Oslo, 2012, 192 p.

Karen O'Brien, Siri Mittet, Eva Bakkeslett, Siri Eriksen, Inger Hansen-Bauer, Grete Hovelsrud, Tor Håkon Inderberg, Cathrine Ruud, Inger-Lise Saglie and Linda Sygna, Klimatilpasning: Hva betyr det for meg? ('Adaptation to Climate Change: What Does It Mean for Me?') Oslo, PLAN Project, 2012, 108 p. In Norwegian.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Governance for Climate-change Adaptive Capacity in the Swedish Electricity Sector'. Public Management Review, Vol 14, No 7, pp. 967-985.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon and Liv Arntzen Løchen, 'Adaptation to Climate Change among Electricity Distribution Companies in Norway and Sweden: Lessons from the Field'. Local Environment, Vol 17, No 6-7, 2012, pp 663-678.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Opprusting av elnettet' ('Improvement of the Electricity Grid'). In Jørgen Randers and Daniel Rees (eds), Statusrapport for norsk klimapolitikk 2011 ('Status Report for Norwegian Climate Politics 2011'). Oslo, Holder de Ord, 2011, pp. 83-86. In Norwegian.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Kultur- og strukturforskjeller i strømnettbransjen' ('Differences in Culture and Structure in the Electricity Grid Sector'), Klima, No 4, 05.09.2011. In Norwegian.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Institutional Constraints to Adaptive Capacity: Adaptability to Climate Change in the Norwegian Electricity Sector'. Local Environment, Vol 16, No 4, 2011, pp. 303-319.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Kraftløse investeringer i nettet' ('Powerless Investments in the Electricity Grid'), Nordlys, 31.03.2011. In Norwegian.

Eakin, Hallie, Siri Eriksen, Per Ove Eikeland and Cecilie Øyen, 'Public Sector Reform and Governance for Adaptation: Implications of New Public Management for Adaptive Capacity in Mexico and Norway', Environmental Management, Vol 47, No 3, 2011, pp. 338-351.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon, 'Kraftløst vedlikehold av strømnettet' ('Powerless Maintenance of the Power Grid'), Mandag Morgen, 15.02.2010. In Norwegian.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon and Per Ove Eikeland, 'Limits to Adaptation: Analysing Institutional Constraints'. In Adger, N., I. Lorenzoni, and K. O'Brien (eds), Adapting to Climate Change – Thresholds, Values, Governance. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2009, pp. 433-447.

Inderberg, Tor Håkon and Per Ove Eikeland, 'Norske kabler i norsk klima', ('Norwegian Cables in a Norwegian Climate'). Bergens Tidende, 16 December 2007. In Norwegian.
 Related focal points of research:

   European energy and environmental politics

Project funding:

   Research Council of Norway (NORKLIMA)

 External cooperation partners:

   Dept. of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo (coordinator)
   Dept. of Geography, University of Bergen
   Department of Sociology, Political Science and Community Planning, University of Tromsø
   CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research-Oslo)
   Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR)
   Norwegian Meteorological Institute
   National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA
   Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, UK
   Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden
   Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, UK

Recent relevant FNI News

Tor Håkon Inderberg obtains Ph.D. on Climate Change Adaptation in Norwegian and Swedish Power Companies (14.12.2012)

Climate Change Adaptation: What Does It Mean for Me? In Norwegian. (26.06.2012)

Recent media coverage:

'Klimatilpasning for deg og meg' ('Climate Adaptation for You and Me'), Forskning, 14.06.2012. In Norwegian.

'Et radikalt skift' ('Norwegian Electricity Infrastructure: A Radical Shift'), Ny Tid, 24.02.2012. In Norwegian.

'Tilpasning er også subjektivt' ('Adaptation is also Subjective'), CICERO News, 05.09.2011. In Norwegian.

'Økt nedbørsmengde + leiruttak = rasfare?' ('Increased Precipitation + Clay Mining = Landslide Risk?'), Enebakk Avis, 9 August 2007. In Norwegian.

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