Tailor-made scenario planning for local adaptation to climate change

  • Henrik Carlsen
  • Karl Henrik Dreborg
  • Per Wikman-SvahnEmail author
Original Article


This paper presents a tailor-made scenario approach for climate change adaptation planning, which emphasises involvement of stakeholders in the development of socioeconomic scenarios and relates to the planning situation and interest of the planning entity. The method was developed and tested in case studies in three different sectors in Sweden (the health sector, the tourism sector and water resource management). The result of the case studies is that the tailor-made scenario approach facilitated the engagement of the local planning body in climate change adaptation and helped them to analyse consequences and possible solutions in a structured way. However, the scenarios that emerged mainly focused on socioeconomic drivers on which the planning body had a large impact or drivers that can be influenced through cooperation with other actors at the local or regional level. While this result underlines the need for local stakeholder involvement in scenario processes, it also indicates a local bias that could be remedied by a stronger representation of national and global perspectives in the scenario development process. Finally, we discuss how a “bottom-up” approach could be combined with a “consistency” approach, which points towards a possible way forward to a hybrid methodology that is compatible with the scenario framework currently being developed in connection to the fifth assessment report of the IPCC.


Adaptation Climate change Local planning Socioeconomic scenarios Participatory methods 



The authors would like to thank all participants in the three case studies and especially the municipal civil servants that helped organise the studies. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency is acknowledged for financial support through the research programme CLIMATOOLS. We also give a special thanks to the anonymous reviewers for many useful suggestions for improvement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Carlsen
    • 1
  • Karl Henrik Dreborg
    • 1
  • Per Wikman-Svahn
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI)StockholmSweden

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