Effective Community-Academic Partnerships on Climate Change Adaption and Mitigation: Results of a European Delphi Study

Sustain Clim Chang. 2021 Apr 1;14(2):76-83. doi: 10.1089/scc.2020.0061. Epub 2021 Apr 6.


The effects of anthropogenic climate change have become increasingly prevalent. There is thus a need both to prevent climate change or soften its effects (mitigation) and to address and deal with effects that are already occurring (adaptation). To facilitate climate action in a creative way, new forms of collaboration are needed, which will lead to increased transformative potential for individuals, for the economy, and for society as a whole. Against this background, community-academic partnerships can serve as an innovative format for collaboration. However, to ensure that these partnerships develop to their full potential, they must be designed in such a way that all involved can participate effectively. Consequently, the question arises of what the success factors and conditions for effective practices are for community-academic partnerships focusing on climate change adaptation and/or mitigation. To answer this question, a Delphi study was conducted with a panel of experts on cocreation processes and climate change adaptation and/or mitigation under the auspices of the European project TeRRIFICA. The results of the study show how community-academic partnerships should be structured and designed to ensure that all stakeholders are involved in the entire process and that positive contributions to climate change adaptation and mitigation can be made. Overall, the results confirm existing findings on success factors for community-academic partnerships, but the relevance of hands-on activities and supportive tools is emphasized much more clearly than in the existing literature.

Keywords: Delphi study; Europe; climate change adaptation; climate change mitigation; community-academic partnerships.