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 period: 2007-2012


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Research Council of Norway (NORKLIMA)