Adaptation to climate change is often perceived as a local concern; yet local stakeholders are influenced by knowledge and politics from international and national contexts. The authors conducted a review of Swedish climate change adaptation policy as well as interviews and focus groups in the Stockholm region. Their findings indicate that the institutionalising of knowledge and knowledge exchange has been weak, especially compared to the implementation of Local Agenda 21, which also calls for action at the local level.

So far, Swedish adaptation policy has relied mainly on soft governance tools. Further, we conclude that there is need for improved mechanisms for feedback from the local to the national level in this rapidly evolving policy field.

The authors acknowledge the financial support of the Swedish Foundation for Environmental Research (Mistra) through the Swedish Research Programme on Climate, Impacts and Adaptation (Mistra-SWECIA) Programme.

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