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News Details

Text by Marina Knickel
New interdisciplinary project: Climate adaption strategies across the EU horizon

KLI fellows Anna-Katharina Brenner, Corey Bunce, Joyshree Chanam, Marina Knickel, Laura Menatti and Hari Sridhar have come together in summer 2023 to work on an interdisciplinary project funded by the Social Science & Humanities for Climate, Energy and Transport Research Excellence (SSH Centre). They are working in multiple disciplines such as Philosophy of Science, Biology, Sustainability Science and Social Ecology and will capitalize on these diverse perspectives for the project.

The KLI project is called “Cool solutions from hot places: Identifying, collecting and translating climate adaptation strategies across the EU horizon” and is geared towards a policy-oriented book chapter on adaptation to climate change. It is led by KLI fellows Laura Menatti and Corey Bunce and facilitated by Guido Caniglia - the scientific director of the KLI.

The project consists of 3 main phases: conceptual, empirical and translational. The translational phase aims to create a framework for facilitating the translation of adaptation strategies between India and the EU to inform policy development. This includes for example integrating global knowledge with local context and needs and mobilising citizens’ historical and local capabilities for community decision making and empowerment.

The translation depends on how ‘adaptation’ is conceptualised and on the context of its application. Therefore, in the first phase, the project analysed the concept of adaptation across the different disciplines the KLI fellows work in such as Evolutionary and Conservation Biology, Environmental Philosophy, Philosophy of Science and Sustainability Science. Then, the pros and cons of the different applications of the concept of adaptation were compared to reach a common ground which defines adaptation as a process involving situated and relational practices between people and their environments.

With this framework in mind, the second phase of the project analyses examples of adaptation to heatwaves in India to learn general principles of adaptation. Tropical and subtropical countries have already experienced and adapted to extreme temperatures. This implies that knowledge exchange could be pivotal for developing adaptation strategies in continental and temperate climate countries increasingly facing historically unusual heatwaves due to climate change. The project specifically focuses on adaptation measures in urban deprived contexts, namely on the use of traditional architecture and nature-based solutions for sustainability as well as citizen-led engagement for heatwave preparedness.


On 10th October 2023 the SSH Centre organised a Virtual Symposium to allow various interdisciplinary teams from across Europe committed to writing book chapters on climate, energy and mobility, to introduce their ideas and approaches, initial thoughts of policy recommendations as well to stimulate discussions in smaller groups and receive constructive feedback on their chapters. KLI fellow and PI of the project, Laura Menatti introduced the KLI project on climate adaptation, explained the different phases of the project and showed how it links to policy recommendations. Laura also presented how different disciplines are being brought together to enable productive interdisciplinary collaboration and mutual learning.

Stay tuned on the SSH project updates!