Climate adaptation policy lock-ins

Understanding the impact of policy lock-ins on climate change adaptation

Project overview

Preparing for and coping with the accelerating impacts of climate change requires adaptation in a wide range of policy areas. Yet, despite increasing calls for action, policy change to allow this is often slow. A range of counteracting forces and barriers can make it difficult to embed adaptation objectives into important policies and move them away from ‘business-as-usual’. However, deeper dynamics are also at play, where self-reinforcing mechanisms, feedbacks and path dependencies interact across different spatio-temporal scales and coalesce to establish policy lock-ins.

The aim of this interdisciplinary project is to uncover these lock-in dynamics and examine the extent to which they account for varying levels of climate change adaptation in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.K. (England).