Discussions about adaptation to climate change in Sweden have until now been based primarily on an analysis of how the local climate will change. However, for many countries, especially those that are rich, it is likely that climate change will have a large effect on the economy, policy and international commitments through the indirect influence of changes to the climate in other parts of the world.
Research is needed to better understand the relative importance of the direct and indirect impacts of climate change. It is reasonable to assume that there are many decision-making situations that are affected by the expected changes in climate, in which it would be advantageous to pay attention to a broader range of climate impacts.
In the same way that long-term irrigation planning must take into account long-term access to water (including the impacts of climate change), strategic planning and policies for Swedish and European forestry would probably be helped by a better understanding of the consequences of climate change in the countries we are competing with and in the markets on which we sell our products.
Ongoing research at SEI as part of Mistra-SWECIA will lay out the ways in which the indirect impacts of climate change involve new or altered threats and opportunities, starting with the Swedish forestry sector. This work should lead to new knowledge about the requirements and opportunities of public decision-makers and the private sector so that they are better able to take into account all the impacts of climate change.
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