Dr. Richard Klein from the Stockholm Environment Institute highlighted the large gap that remains between research and action in climate adaption during the opening plenary roundtable “climate adaption and governance”.
The whole panel, consisting of State Secretary at Ministry of Climate and Environment Lars Andreas Lunde, the Head of Program for Resilient and Sustainable City Solutions at City of Copenhagen Lykke Leonardsen, Comissioner at Bergen City Government Julie Andersland, Director General Norwegian Environment Agency Ellen Hambro, Executive Vice President at DNV GL Bjørn Haugland, Dr. Richard Klein and Deputy director from Finance Norway Mia Ebelholt, all agreed that extensive collaboration between stakeholders is necessary in order to create the best solutions. So how can the Nordic countries collaborate on this issue, or is this too little too late?
Bridging the gap
Although there is a gap between research and action, the gap is shrinking Ellen Hambro highlighted. Dr. Klein also explained that positive changes have happened since 2010 when it come to collaboration and adaptation. However the knowledge intermediaries are needed to a larger degree to help bridge the gap, because this is not only about knowledge production but also about implementation of the knowledge.
More hubs must work together and it is important that initiatives come from both sides - those producing the knowledge and those implementing regulations.
- We need to talk to each other to understand what stakeholders need, especially how it will affect their business, Mia Ebelholt argued.
The next step is to take the knowledge that is already avaliable and make it into real guidelines for both municipalities and businesses. One of the questions then becomes who are responsible to write these rules?
The Nordic potential
Lykke Leonardsen spoke about how the flooding of Copenhagen became a game changer on a local and national scale in acting on climate change adaption in Denmark. And she argued that the Nordic countries can take the lead in climate adaption. The municipalities must transform the systems through regulations and this will also be good for business development through innovation and smart solutions.
The Norwegian representatives in the panel agreed that we must learn from the Copenhagen example to be better prepared for the changes in climate on a local and national scale. The new green strategy plan for the Bergen city is one step in moving towards a zero-emission city.
- We need to act and we need to do it rapidly, the commissioner Julie Andersland from Bergen City Government said, as one was one of the final comments from the panel in this opening round table and also that politicians need to be braver when making decisions and new regulations.