21  Why the discursive environment matters

The UK Climate Impacts Programme and adaptation to climate change

Elspeth Oppermann


This chapter discusses the UK Climate Impacts Programme’s problematization of adaptation to climate change, which both responds to and helps shape a discursive “environment” through which adaptation to climate change is understood. It also discusses the extent to which this might be characterized in terms of human security. Although human security is often said to be threatened by climate change as a biophysical phenomenon (Barnett and Adger, 2007), the understanding of climate change as a threat is discursively produced (Shackley and Wynne, 1995; Demeritt, 2001, 2006; Szerszynski, 2010), as is our understanding ...

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