National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan for Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions of Climate Change

Media type: 
National Adaptation Research Plans (NARP)
Jon Barnett
Stephen Dovers
Stephen Hatfield-Dodds
Jan McDonald
Rohan Nelson
Stephen Waller
Florence Crick (NCCARF Secretariat)
Daniel Stock (NCCARF Secretariat)
University of Melbourne
Australian National University
Griffith University
Department of Climate Change
WA Office of Climate Change

This National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan (NARP) identifies the research that is needed to enhance understanding of the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change adaptation in Australia. It outlines priority areas for research that can better inform decisions about adaptation to ensure effective, efficient and equitable outcomes. Identification of research priorities will enable local, state/territory and Australian governments and other research investors to fund research over the next five years that can deliver maximum benefit to the Australian community and provide a broad framework for longer-term research planning.

Social, economic and institutional considerations are central to adaptation to climate change in Australia, regardless of the sector, location or social group concerned. Efficient, effective and equitable action to avoid or minimise the impacts of climate change requires some knowledge about the things that are valued by individuals and social groups, such as employment, good health, and the natural environment, and the ways in which climate change puts these at risk. It also requires information about what actions are possible so as to avoid these impacts, including their cost, potential effects on other people, places, industries, sectors and future generations, and the barriers to their implementation. Yet there is a paucity of knowledge about these and other human dimensions of adaptation. There is therefore a need for research that can develop a theoretical and empirical basis to inform decision- making about adaptation by individuals, households, businesses, community groups and governments.

This NARP identifies three broad categories of information necessary to enhance decision- making about adaptation in Australia. There is a need for research that advances understanding of:

  1. The vulnerability and adaptive capacity of individuals, communities, businesses and industries;
  2. The barriers and limits to adaptation;
  3. The governance and institutional arrangements necessary to ensure that adaptation is as effective, efficient and equitable as possible.

Within these broad categories, a number of specific research topics are identified in this NARP. The NARP encourages research that engages with stakeholders and is problem- oriented, as such characteristics are most likely to deliver the best outcomes for decision- makers.

Please cite this publication as:
Barnett, J, Dovers, S, Hatfield-Dodds, S, McDonald, J, Nelson, R & Waller, S 2011, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan: Social, Economic and Institutional Dimensions, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Gold Coast, 44pp.

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Summary: National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan for Social, Economic & Institutional Dimensions

View full suite of Social, Economic & Institutional Dimensions NARP projects here.