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Open Access Regional Vulnerability to the Challenges of Climate Change and Energy Provision: Lessons Learned from Transdisciplinary Assessments in Austria and Germany

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Uncertainty, context specificity and complexity in the fields of climate change and energy provision are best addressed by transdisciplinary research approaches involving the stakeholders and potential users of research results. In this article, we present transdisciplinary regional vulnerability assessments in three Austrian provinces and one German region. We highlight region-specific sub-challenges and the locations of key vulnerabilities. The phases of the assessment process, stakeholder involvement, types of knowledge included and transdisciplinary methods are discussed as well as the key outcomes of the assessments. We conclude that the heterogeneity of the involved stakeholders, the transdisciplinary methods as well as stakeholders’ “ownership” of, and social learning on, the regional vulnerability assessment improved its quality and societal relevance

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Keywords: climate change; energy provision; indicators; regional vulnerability assessment; stakeholder involvement; transdisciplinary research

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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