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Stiess I.,Institute for Social ecological Research | Dunkelberg E.,Institute for Ecological economics Research
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2013

By retrofitting their homes to meet stricter energy efficiency standards, private homeowners can reduce home energy use significantly, thus taking a significant step towards achieving a low carbon lifestyle. Although the adoption of low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies can play a key role in achieving significant reductions of CO2 emissions, current practices are rather disappointing. In Germany, for example, homeowners are moving very slowly when it comes to achieving significant reductions in personal energy use and carbon emissions. In many cases, the maintenance and repair activities being undertaken are those resulting in only subtle improvements in energy efficiency and far less than what would appear to be technically viable. With this in mind, we present the results from a standardized empirical survey of 1000 homeowners in Germany that focuses on homeowner maintenance and refurbishment decision-making. A comparison of homeowners applying LZC technologies vs. those carrying out standard refurbishment measures allows us to consider homeowner objectives and barriers to energy-efficient refurbishment and examine the critical role that the dissemination of information and transfer of knowledge play in achieving energy-efficient refurbishment measures.We further discuss the ways that stakeholder collaboration can improve energy efficiency knowledge transfers and enhance the willingness of private homeowners to adopt LZC technologies. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Abolhassani L.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Oesten G.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Rajmis S.,Institute for Ecological economics Research | Azadi H.,Ghent University
Rangeland Journal | Year: 2013

Rangeland depletion is a persistent problem in many developing countries and is often a result of inappropriate management activities such as overstocking, particularly in the regions of West Asia and North Africa (WANA). To convert to a sustainable system of range management, programs aimed at improving rangeland condition, such as range management or livestock development plans, which are mainly based on the range succession model, have been developed and implemented by several governments. A primary objective of these programs is to maintain stocking rates at a sustainable level. However, in many cases, rangeland users' ignorance of socioeconomic factors has caused ineffectual implementation and thus a reduction in the effectiveness of these programs overall. In this study, a survey was conducted on rangeland communities in central northern Iran where the livestock population is 15% above the proposed carrying capacity 20 years after the inception of the Range Management Plan (RMP). The focus of this study was to investigate reasons that the RMP has not been successful, from the perspective of the rangeland holders. The data were collected using open-ended interviews. The data analysis indicated that the primary barriers to the successful implementation of the RMP are quite well matched with the description of the 'diffusion of innovations' theory. The three characteristics of the RMP innovation, including the lack of high relative advantages, incompatible structure of the RMP with the traditional rules, and lack of observability of short-term benefits from the RMP, were realised as the main barriers to the success of the RMP adoption. An additional concern for the rangeland holders was drought, which they felt was not adequately addressed or dealt with in the RMP. Lastly, the government's failure to fulfil the initial commitments of the RMP, for instance financial supports, has resulted in a loss of confidence of rangeland holders in the enforcement agency and governmental policies.Journal compilation © Australian Rangeland Society 2013. Source

Eisenack K.,Carl von Ossietzky University | Moser S.C.,Susanne Moser Research and Consulting | Hoffmann E.,Institute for Ecological economics Research | Klein R.J.T.,Stockholm Environment Institute | And 5 more authors.
Nature Climate Change | Year: 2014

The concept of barriers is increasingly used to describe the obstacles that hinder the planning and implementation of climate change adaptation. The growing literature on barriers to adaptation reveals not only commonly reported barriers, but also conflicting evidence, and few explanations of why barriers exist and change. There is thus a need for research that focuses on the interdependencies between barriers and considers the dynamic ways in which barriers develop and persist. Such research, which would be actor-centred and comparative, would help to explain barriers to adaptation and provide insights into how to overcome them. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Source

Eisenack K.,Carl von Ossietzky University | Stecker R.,Carl von Ossietzky University | Reckien D.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Hoffmann E.,Institute for Ecological economics Research
PIK Report | Year: 2011

The paper identifies the literature that deals with adaptation to climate change in the transport sector by means of an extensive search, and presents a systematic review of the publications. Although it is frequently claimed that this socially and economically important sector is particularly vulnerable to climate change, there is comparatively little research into adaptation by industry, utilities and settlements. The 63 sources we found are analysed following an action theory of adaptation that distinguishes different adaptational functions. A very heterogeneous set of adaptations is identified and the actors and means of adaptation are classified by an open coding procedure. The paper shows that a broad diversity of actors is relevant for adaptation in the transport sector - ranging from transportation service providers to public and private sector actors and private households. Most adaptations discussed in the literature require inputs in the form of technical means, institutional means, and knowledge. The review shows that the existing literature either focuses on overly general and vague proposals, or on detailed technical measures. The paper concludes that the knowledge on adapting transport to climate change is still in a stage of infancy and suggests fields for further research. Source

Magliocca N.R.,National United University | van Vliet J.,VU University Amsterdam | Brown C.,University of Edinburgh | Evans T.P.,Indiana University | And 10 more authors.
Environmental Modelling and Software | Year: 2015

This paper explores how meta-studies can support the development of process-based land change models (LCMs) that can be applied across locations and scales. We describe a multi-step framework for model development and provide descriptions and examples of how meta-studies can be used in each step. We conclude that meta-studies best support the conceptualization and experimentation phases of the model development cycle, but cannot typically provide full model parameterizations. Moreover, meta-studies are particularly useful for developing agent-based LCMs that can be applied across a wide range of contexts, locations, and/or scales, because meta-studies provide both quantitative and qualitative data needed to derive agent behaviors more readily than from case study or aggregate data sources alone. Recent land change synthesis studies provide sufficient topical breadth and depth to support the development of broadly applicable process-based LCMs, as well as the potential to accelerate the production of generalized knowledge through model-driven synthesis. © 2015 The Authors. Source

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