Chameleon Research Group

Adaptation to climate change in the utility sector – analysis and development of options for business and political action

Climate change alters and endangers not only natural areas but also our social and technical infrastructure. Extreme weather phenomena such as storms and flooding can bring down power lines or make rail lines impassible. Heat waves may cause a shortage of cooling water at power stations. Besides measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is an increasing need for strategies to help society adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.

The Chameleon Research Group focused its attention on the political framework which strongly influences adaptation strategies in the utility sector. How should political and corporate action be coordinated to provide the best environment for the development and implementation of adaptation strategies?

Chameleon investigated the way in which companies in the energy and transport sector adapt to climate change. The key issue was to identify the factors which foster or hinder this adaptation process.

Chameleon was making an important contribution to adaptation theory by systematically generalizing the results. This gave companies, politicians and government agencies the tools they need to effectively develop and implement an adaptation roadmap.