Details zur Publikation

Referenztyp Zeitschriften
DOI / URL Link
Titel (primär) Adaptive and risk-based approaches to climate change and the management of uncertainty and institutional risk: The case of future flooding in England
Autor Kuhlicke, C.; Demeritt, D.;
Journal / Serie Global Environmental Change
Erscheinungsjahr 2016
Department SUSOZ;
Band/Volume 37
Sprache englisch;
POF III (gesamt) T13;
Keywords Climate change; Flood risk management; Risk-based regulation; Adaptive management; Uncertainty; Risk governance
UFZ Querschnittsthemen RU6
Abstract This paper focuses on how scientific uncertainties about future peak flood flows and sea level rises are accounted for in long term strategic planning processes to adapt inland and coastal flood risk management in England to climate change. Combining key informant interviews (n = 18) with documentary analysis, it explores the institutional tensions between adaptive management approaches emphasising openness to uncertainty and to alternative policy options on the one hand and risk-based ones that close them down by transforming uncertainties into calculable risks whose management can be rationalized through cost-benefit analysis and nationally consistent, risk-based priority setting on the other hand. These alternative approaches to managing uncertainty about the first-order risks to society from future flooding are shaped by institutional concerns with managing the second-order, ‘institutional’ risks of criticism and blame arising from accountability for discharging those first-order risk management responsibilities. In the case of river flooding the poorly understood impacts of future climate change were represented with a simplistic adjustment to peak flow estimates, which proved robust in overcoming institutional resistance to making precautionary allowances for climate change in risk-based flood management, at least in part because its scientific limitations were acknowledged only partially. By contrast in the case of coastal flood risk management, greater scientific confidence led to successively more elaborate guidance on how to represent the science, which in turn led to inconsistency in implementation and increased the institutional risks involved in taking the uncertain effects of future sea level rise into account in adaptation planning and flood risk management. Comparative analysis of these two cases then informs some wider reflections about the tensions between adaptive and risk-based approaches, the role of institutional risk in climate change adaptation, and the importance of such institutional dynamics in shaping the framing uncertainties and policy responses to scientific knowledge about them.
ID 17115
dauerhafte UFZ-Verlinkung http://www.ufz.de/index.php?en=20939&ufzPublicationIdentifier=17115
Kuhlicke, C., Demeritt, D. (2016):
Adaptive and risk-based approaches to climate change and the management of uncertainty and institutional risk: The case of future flooding in England
Glob. Environ. Change 37 , 56 - 68