While recent years have seen undeniable progress in the acknowledgment of both the dangers of climate change and the importance of working to mitigate it, little has actually been done. Emissions continue to rise, and even the ambitious targets set by international accords fall far short of the drastic cuts that are needed to prevent catastrophe. With "Adaptive Governance and Climate Change", Ronald D. Brunner and Amanda H. Lynch argue that we need to take a new tack, moving away from reliance on centralized, top-down approaches - the treaties and accords that have proved disappointingly ineffective thus far - and towards a more flexible, multi-level approach. Based in the principles of adaptive governance - which are designed to produce programs that adapt quickly and easily to new information and experimental results - such an approach would encourage diversity and innovation in the search for solutions, while at the same time pointedly recasting the problem as one in which every culture and community around the world has an inherent interest.
Ronald D. Brunner is a policy scientist specializing in the integration of theory and practice. Amanda H. Lynch is head of Monash Climate and a professor in the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences at Monash University.