Why tackle a far-off problem? Municipal resistance to climate change adaptation from an organisational change perspective

Maya Marieke van den Berg, Franciscus H.J.M. Coenen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

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    Abstract

    Although the importance of local government is often emphasized when it comes to climate change adaptation, empirical data reveal that local efforts have been rather limited. Why does one observe this paradoxical situation? This article presents empirical data gathered through a questionnaire (n=70) and case studies (n=13) demonstrating that resistance within Dutch municipalities prevents organisational adaptation despite there being strong external forces for change. We offer two explanations for this observation. Firstly, we have observed a strongly divided approach to climate change adaptation where each of the involved sub-units (i.e. policy domains) has its own perception of climate change, and of the preferred ‘solution’ to tackle the related problems. Secondly, we have sensed a general feeling that adaptation is not really a local responsibility. In this perspective, the concept of climate change is associated with a far-off future, distant in time and space. We conclude that actions by regional and national governments are needed to enable municipalities to look beyond their local and sectoral partitions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages-
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2012

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    organizational change
    climate change
    local government
    municipality
    climate change adaptation
    responsibility
    policy

    Keywords

    • METIS-290902
    • IR-82667

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Although the importance of local government is often emphasized when it comes to climate change adaptation, empirical data reveal that local efforts have been rather limited. Why does one observe this paradoxical situation? This article presents empirical data gathered through a questionnaire (n=70) and case studies (n=13) demonstrating that resistance within Dutch municipalities prevents organisational adaptation despite there being strong external forces for change. We offer two explanations for this observation. Firstly, we have observed a strongly divided approach to climate change adaptation where each of the involved sub-units (i.e. policy domains) has its own perception of climate change, and of the preferred ‘solution’ to tackle the related problems. Secondly, we have sensed a general feeling that adaptation is not really a local responsibility. In this perspective, the concept of climate change is associated with a far-off future, distant in time and space. We conclude that actions by regional and national governments are needed to enable municipalities to look beyond their local and sectoral partitions.",
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    Why tackle a far-off problem? Municipal resistance to climate change adaptation from an organisational change perspective. / van den Berg, Maya Marieke; Coenen, Franciscus H.J.M.

    2012. -.

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

    TY - CONF

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    AU - Coenen, Franciscus H.J.M.

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