A Values-Based Approach to Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change. Applying Q methodology in the Ebro Delta, Spain

Amaia Albizua, Christos Zografos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. Outcome and context-focused approaches to climate change adaptation dominate the relevant literature. Taking into account values and perceptions of affected actors and decision-makers is a fundamental and necessary prerequisite for a more effective, legitimate and fair climate policy and has not been given the necessary consideration. This paper uses Q methodology to explore such values in the context of climate change in the Ebro Delta, in Catalonia. The delta is an area highly vulnerable to climate change, mainly because of its topography, but also as a result of human intervention. The study identifies five discourses on vulnerability and adaptation held by delta inhabitants and decision-makers. Social justice and security comprise shared values behind arguments; however, discourses differ in their approaches concerning the proper scale for applying these values with adaptation policy. Our results serve to improve policy dialogue and suggest that the adaptation policy agenda should focus on pursuing consensus over the crucial issue of scale. Our use of Q methodology to advance the incipient literature on value-based climate change vulnerability and adaptation is innovative and suggests that the approach has a capacity to contribute to advancing deliberative environmental decision-making on adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Adaptation policy
  • Climate change
  • Ebro Delta
  • Q methodology
  • Values

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