Panel: Climate Change Adaptation in the United States: Policy Development, Diffusion and Implications
(Natural Resource Security, Energy and Environmental Policy)

Friday, November 7, 2014: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Enchantment Ballroom D (Hyatt)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Organizers:  Qing Miao, Syracuse University
Panel Chairs:  Benjamin Stafford, University of Minnesota
Discussants:  Elizabeth A Albright, Duke University and Jason Vogel, Stratus Consulting


Levels of Collective Action and Policy Innovation: A National Study of Climate
Jessica Terman, George Mason University and Derek Kaunekis, University of Nevada, Reno



Problem Severity and Local Policy Diffusion: Water Usage Restrictions in Texas
Megan Mullin and Meghan Rubado, Temple University



The Effects of Adaptation Measures on Hurricane Induced Property Losses
Meri Davlasheridze, Texas A&M University, Karen Fisher-Vanden, Pennsylvania State University and H. Allen Klaiber, Ohio State University


Adaptation is increasingly recognized as an essential strategy to address the unavoidable impacts of climate change, which includes not only increasing global temperatures and sea level rise but also more frequent and intense extreme weather events. These changes pose significant challenges to natural ecosystems, human health, and built environments. Many governments and communities across the United States have already begun taking action to prepare and plan for anticipated climate impacts. Facilitating proactive and effective climate adaptations requires better understanding of how these adaptation strategies are developed, how they are diffused across jurisdictions, and their potential effect in reducing vulnerability. This panel includes four papers that focus on the development and implications of adaptation policies at the state and local levels in the United States. Based on the recognition that adaptation needs to be purposefully planned and coordinated across different sectors and scales, the first paper examines the current status of adaptation planning at the state level. It explores the factors that have influenced state governments to formulate a comprehensive adaptation plan, as well as the mechanism through which states learn from and influence each other in adaptation decisions. The second paper, using an institutional perspective, investigates how public organizations at different levels collaborate to develop innovative climate adaptation strategies. The other two papers in this panel study specific hazards closely related to climate change. The third paper analyzes how local drought conditions and policy diffusion independently affect localitiesí adoption of water use restrictions in the state of Texas. The last paper looks at hurricane damages across counties throughout the U.S., and investigates the role of different adaptation strategies (structural infrastructures vs. regulatory measures) in reducing property losses from hurricanes. The four papers in the panel discuss the motivation and influences of current adaptation strategies at the state and local levels. They contribute to a better understanding of adaptation as a social learning process, and inform ongoing adaptation efforts. Overall, our panel aims to provide policy makers and practitioners with additional insights that will facilitate innovative adaptation strategy development.