Closing the Climate Adaptation Gap and Unlocking Transformative Change

Our conference programme is now live and available to download below! In the meantime, there is still time to register to attend HERE.

We look forward to you joining us on 24 – 25 March!

Twitter: #AdaptLockin

Conference Programme

Thursday 24 March 2022

All times are in Central European Time (CET)

10am Welcome address: Uncovering the hidden story of the adaptation gap – From barriers to lock-in and beyond
Prof Bernd Siebenhüner, University of Oldenburg, Germany (Principal investigator for the Adapt Lock-in Project)
10.15am Keynote address: Governing the adaptation of long-lived assets: State or phat dependence?
Prof Klaus Eisenack (Humboldt University Berlin)
10.45am SESSION 1: Examining the adaptation gap through the lens of lock-ins
(Chair: Dr Nicolas Jager, University of Oldenburg, Germany)
This session will delve into the theoretical and conceptual understanding of ‘lock-ins’. Key questions will be addressed around what constitutes a lock-in dynamic, how lock-ins are created and sustained over time, and the added value of the lock-in concept for understanding the growing adaptation gap that we see. Our speakers will reflect on how lock-ins are conceptualised and understood from different disciplinary perspectives and sectors.
12pm LUNCH
1.30pmKeynote address: Unpacking causality to close adaptation gaps
Dr Robbert Biesbroek (Wageningen University, Netherlands)
2pm SESSION 2: Adapting our coastlines – barriers, lock-in dynamics and opportunities for transformative change
(Chair: Dr Meghan Alexander, University of East Anglia UK)
At the front line of sea level rise, coastal adaptation is vital. Yet, coastal management is notably complex, as various policy sectors, with different institutional arrangements, agendas, and sometimes competing interests, converge in the liminal zone. This presents both challenges and opportunities for adaptation. This session takes a cross-sectoral perspective and highlights the systemic barriers and lock-in dynamics that continue to hinder adaptation efforts, alongside innovative examples where these are being overcome.
3.15pm SESSION 3: Confronting the ‘jaws of death’ in water resource management
(Chair: Dr Tim Rayner, University of East Anglia, UK)
As demands for water continue to rise, while supply falls as increasing climate impacts take hold, some policy makers have likened the looming threat of water scarcity to the “jaws of death”. Householders, energy producers, industry, agriculture and wildlife all stand to be affected. In many cases, however, they also have the potential to contribute to responses that bring a range of benefits. Focusing on developments in water resource management, this session examines the ways in which adaptation may be facilitated and/or constrained in different governance settings.
4.15pm Closing remarks from Prof Bernd Siebenhüner (University of Oldenburg, Germany)

Friday 25 March 2022

All times are in Central European Time (CET)

10am Welcome address: Closing the Climate Adaptation Gap
Prof Dave Huitema, Open University of the Netherlands
10.15am Keynote address – Transformational Climate Adaptation
Dr Tom Mitchell, Chief Strategy Officer of EIT Climate-KIC  
10.45am SESSION 4: Human health under extremes
(Chair: Dr Lisanne Groen, Open University of the Netherlands)
Climate change is creating and exacerbating physical and mental health problems in both direct and indirect ways, as it places increasing burdens on health and social care services, amongst other related policy areas through which health effects are mitigated. While health is slowly rising up the political agenda, considerable hurdles remain. This session explores the constraints and opportunities for embedding health aspects into adaptation action across different sectors.
12pm LUNCH
2pm SESSION 5: Addressing the nature crisis – Adapting for nature and adapting with nature
(Chair: Dr Jean Hugé, Open University of the Netherlands)
Climate change, amongst a host of other land use pressures, is driving worrying declines in biodiversity and habitat loss. Adaptive action is not only essential for preserving nature, but nature-based solutions are also a fundamental strategy for adapting to the increasing threats posed by climate change. Working for and with nature will be essential. Focusing on both sides of this equation, this session aims to stimulate cross-sectoral and cross-country learning on the maladaptive practices and lock-ins contributing to the nature crisis, as well as opportunities and success stories for reversing biodiversity decline through coordinated action.
3.15pm BREAK
3.30pm SESSION 6: Closing the adaptation gap – Next steps and unlocking opportunities
(Chair: Dr John Turnpenny, University of East Anglia, UK)
To close the conference, this final session will bring together the key lessons across the previous sessions and observe the similarities and differences across policy areas, sectors and countries. Looking forward, the session will reflect on opportunities for closing the adaptation gap in the wake of UNFCCC COP26 and the Covid-19 pandemic. As a collective, we will identify (and vote!) on priority recommendations for ‘unlocking’ maladaptive lock-in dynamics and accelerating adaptation action.