The KLI
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News Details

2024-02-26
KLI interdisciplinary team contributes to climate adaptation policies for the European Union

In the spring of 2023, six KLI fellows (in alphabetical order) Anna-Katharina Brenner, Corey Bunce, Joyshree Chanam, Marina Knickel, Laura Menatti, and Hari Sridhar pooled their strengths in Philosophy of Science, Biology, Sustainability Science, and Social Ecology to work on an interdisciplinary project for climate change adaptation. Laura Menatti and Corey Bunce led the project, while Guido Caniglia, Scientific Director of the KLI, facilitated the smooth and successful execution of this interdisciplinary effort. The team was rewarded a grant from the SSH Centre (Social Science & Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence) last summer to contribute a book chapter on adaptation to climate change to the SSH Centre’s multi-volume project on policy recommendations for the European Union. This January, they submitted their forthcoming chapter titled, “Adapting to Heatwaves: Reframing, understanding, and translating Strategies from India to the European Union.”

The project integrates STEM perspectives with reasoning and knowledge from Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), which are often excluded from climate adaptative action debates. The KLI team’s chapter focusses on the effects of climate change on urban vulnerable populations, and claims that “adaptation should be reframed as situated and relational long-term processes involving people and their ecological, social and historical environments”. It also urges that adaptation policies should draw upon the Global South given their long history of adaptation to extreme temperatures. Further, it highlights the significance of mutual learning, social and epistemic justice, and interconnectedness when translating adaptation strategies for the EU.

The project is a remarkable example of ‘knowledge integration’ and ‘interdisciplinary learning’. Through a dynamic and open-ended learning journey, over several dedicated events, which included participatory art-based techniques, the group co-developed an interdisciplinary definition of ‘adaptation’. In the process, they appreciated diverse ideas and balanced them against one another and prior assumptions.

The group held a Reflection session that was facilitated by Guido Caniglia on the 21st of Feb, during which the group walked back over the steps of the process and reflected on what worked and whether such strategies could guide future interdisciplinary endeavours. Beyond the book chapter, this project promises multiple outcomes, including presentations of the work at conferences as well as papers providing more detailed insights on adaptation to climate warming.