Department für Geographie





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Societal Transformation and Climate Change (TransClimate)

Fachgebiet: Geographie des Wissens, Geographische Gesellschaft-Umwelt-Forschung, Klimatologie, Politische Geographie
Gefördert durch: European Institutes for Advanced Study
Förderkennzeichen: 246561

Projektleitung: Weichselgartner, J.

Laufzeit: 09/2015 - 08/2016

Increasing awareness of the limits of climate science, as currently practiced, and climate change adaptation, as currently framed, has focused analysis on the pathways through which successive adaptation decisions and activities unfold. While state-of-the-art research has articulated context-driven, problem-focused, and interdisciplinary approaches to societal problem-solving, many structures and processes in climate governance are trapped in a paradigm of linear causality, top-down accountability, and fragmented responsibility. There is a need of research that crosses established disciplinary boundaries and explores methods for identifying and validating drivers of transformation and climate change, as well as mechanisms for positive exchange between science, policy, practice, and the public. Specifically, there is a lack of transdisciplinary research tackling questions of climate change response and a need to apply multi-stakeholder research designs, emphasising co-designed and context-sensitive practices


The proposed project “Societal Transformation and Climate Change” (TransClimate) emphasises adaptation as a reflexive-policy space that can also address wider root causes and starts where other projects usually end: with the needs of decision-makers in climate-related policy and practice. Contrasting established linear forms of knowledge transfer from science to policy to practice, the project is a straightforward attempt to enhance climate governance by co-designing context-appropriate climate response actions together with relevant societal actors. TransClimate is designed to achieve three overall goals: (i) analysing climate knowledge across scientific domains and societal sectors; (ii): examining structure- and process-related barriers hindering efficient knowledge-action systems; and (iii): identifying pathways towards effective climate change governance. Co-produced knowledge and co-designed adaptation pathways are socially robust, context-sensitive, and more capable of concerted climate response action.

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