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Local governments as drivers for societal transformation: towards the 1.5 °C ambition

Helene Amundsen, Grete K. Hovelsrud, Carlo Aall, Marianne Karlsson, Hege Westskog.

The political ambition of curbing global average temperatures to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels requires significant and profound changes to societal organisation, energy use and consumption. It will not be sufficient to maintain or incrementally change status quo, rather it will require radical and paradigmatic transformative changes. Local governments have dual roles in social transformation: to transform within their own organisation, and to act as a catalyst for transformation locally. We find that key factors for transformation include pursuing and institutionalising a long-term sustainable development agenda; and building networks established between different parts of the municipal organisation, and between the municipalities and local businesses, civil society groups and other relevant actors.

 

Changing North and Challenges of Environmental Governance (in Finnish)

This report is based on a stakeholder workshop Changing North and Challenges of Environmental Governance and is part of Primary Industries and Transformational Change (PITCH) research project.

Workshop was arranged in Rovaniemi 27th of May 2016. All together 20 persons took part to the workshop representing governance and research organizations. Participants provided expertise from various sectors on the challenges and opportunities related to coping with social and enviornmental change in the Finnish Lapland. The aims were 1) to discuss information flows and needs enabling adaptation to climate change at different governance levels, and 2) to use a scenario exercise to discuss how to reconcile the interests, values, and concerns of multiple land users in a sustainable way in the future. Discussions on information flows emphasised the needs for targeted, concrete, traditional, localized, and tacit knowledge that could be used by governance actors to cope with environmental change. Particularly more information was considered to be needed on accumulating and overlapping influences of different sectors on local livelihoods and environment. Based on workshop discussions a normative scenario was formed regarding future land uses. Scenario Viable and Common Lapland emphasises long-term collaboration for finding synergies and mutually agreed decisions between diverse local land users. Common benefits with stakeholders outside Lapland were also foreseen on the condition that local cultures would be respected and local concerns acknowledged in decision-making processes at different governance levels.