5th ACRP Dialog 2023

On November 23, 2023, the fifth ACRP Dialogue on "The big levers of climate change adaptation" took place in Vienna.

Almost 30 representatives from research and administration met on the premises of the Climate and Energy Fund to discuss the major levers of climate change adaptation and find new solutions.

After a welcome by Gernot Wörther (Climate and Energy Fund), Barbara Kronberger-Kießwetter (BMK) and Simon Tschannett (CCCA Board, Weatherpark), the dialog began with two short keynote speeches. Sebastian Seebauer (Joanneum Research) introduced the participants to the topic of path dependency; his presentation was entitled Recognizing and managing path dependencies. Daniela Fusch-Hanusch (TU Graz) then spoke about participation processes in climate change adaptation.

All participants were able to actively shape the further course of the event, as they were involved in the selection of the main topics. Before the break, all participants were asked to write down the three sectors or areas in which they believe the greatest levers of climate change adaptation lie. Based on this feedback, each of the five tables was then assigned an overarching topic for discussion. Afterwards, the participants were able to exchange ideas informally over drinks and snacks.

After the brief refreshment, the participants entered into dialog in five different small groups and discussed based on key questions. 

At the end of the event, all five groups were able to briefly present their most important results in plenary. Some of the main findings of the dialog were

Sufficient resources

Sufficient financial resources and qualified personnel are required for successful KWA measures. Ideally, funding should be available on a long-term basis and used flexibly. The financial resources can come from both the state and the private sector. The costs of inaction (see COIN) should be made more visible in order to communicate the financial benefits of KWA. Furthermore, additional incentives should be created for the implementation of KWA measures, e.g. through subsidies. Resources for communication and awareness-raising should be planned from the outset.

Legal anchoring & clarification of responsibilities

Who, when and how climate change adaptation measures are implemented should be clearly regulated, e.g. in a national climate change adaptation law. The National Adaptation Strategy and a KWA obligation could also be anchored in this. Cooperation between different levels (municipalities, federal states, federal government, EU) is desirable. There are already many requirements at EU level. These need to be better publicized and implemented.


Without appropriate communication, the urgency of the issue cannot be conveyed. The basis for this is the development of a solid knowledge base and the creation of understanding among the population. The main focus should be on positive narratives. Communication campaigns should always be designed to be target group-specific and inclusive.