The overarching aim was to create a capacity for advanced analysis and consistent assessment of climate, economy and impacts. Global and regional models of climate, economy and impacts were the main tools, together with data on natural and human processes and systems. The application of this capacity involved a strong line of research on the adaptation process itself, focusing on learning from experience, putting new knowledge into use, identifying bottlenecks and opportunities.

The programme scope was global, with focus on regional and local scales in the Nordic region. Climate, impacts, economy and adaptation were considered on and across all these scales, including couplings and feedback. Indeed, Mistra-SWECIA forged a new interdisciplinary approach to serve as a stepping stone for improved and useful understanding and handling of the systems, processes and issues at hand.

SEI led the project “The Process of Adaptation to Climate Change” to investigate factors that influence people’s decisions to prepare or not to prepare for future climate risks. It involved analysis of people’s perceptions of risk, and of how information on the consequences of climate change promotes individual and collective learning. The research combined theoretical and empirical research. The empirical research was carried out in case studies, the first two of which were on the Stockholm region and the Swedish forestry sector.

Results of SWECIA are expected to help planners and policymakers in designing more effective strategies to reduce the vulnerability of Swedish citizens and firms to climate change, and to integrate climate concerns into day-to-day decision-making.

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Human actions are likely the primary cause for contemporary climate change, and change will continue for a long time ahead. This calls for adaptation.