Today, communities routinely suffer climate change impacts, as slow and ineffective adaptation planning response mar public well-being. The authors believe that it is vital to grasp how and why climate adaptation policy has been stifled, and in this way begin to change course. This perspective article takes an urban planning approach to explore the impact of short-term political priorities on adaptation policy, the repercussions for public well-being, and the system of justification that hinders action. Specifically, the authors dissect how existing systems of governance limit accountability and provide opportunities for political leadership to avoid responsibility – enabling political priorities to take precedence over effective climate policy, maintain status quo and, as climate impacts become apparent, trample public well-being. This article contributes to policy literature by providing greater context for how socio-political factors impact adaptation to climate change.

The journal article can be found here:

Full citation:

Kehler, S. & Birchall, SJ. (2023). Climate change adaptation: How short-term political priorities trample public well-being. Environmental Science & Policy.