A Systems Analysis of Policymaking for Climate Adaptation in Coastal Virginia

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-4206-1309
Eghdami Fateh Abadi, Mohammad Sadegh, Systems Engineering - School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Louis, Garrick, EN-Eng Sys and Environment, University of Virginia

The impacts of climate change have sparked policy responses at different governance levels. Studying the central adaptation policies and understanding the interactions and complexities of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders is essential in guiding local, regional, and state stakeholders to formulate policies and make investment decisions. With strategic and economic significance on the national level, Coastal Virginia has one of the highest rates of sea-level rise in the United States, instigating intensified and more frequent climate hazards such as flooding and storms. This research strives to characterize the status of adaptation policymaking and discover the challenges and governance gaps in this region to provide insights for effective adaptation policies in the future. Moreover, it provides a spatial understanding of climate risk and its associations with socioeconomic vulnerabilities, raising questions about the underlying roots of such associations and arguing for an emphasis on vulnerabilities for equitable adaptation policymaking. Moreover, it proposes a policy framework for local adaptation to analyze and introduce successful and sustainable policy measures through collective decision-making informed by a policy analysis tool. Eventually, the managed retreat is analyzed as an inevitable policy for areas with high climate risk. With an emphasis on Coastal Virginia, this research has several theoretical and empirical outcomes illuminating the status quo and future of adaptation policymaking that would be adjustable to other geographic, economic, and environmental conditions.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Adaptation policymaking, Stakeholder analysis, Coastal Virginia, Adaptation governance, Climate adaptation, Gap analysis, Adaptation challenges, Socioeconomic vulnerability, Coastal flooding, Risk modeling, Policy analysis framework, General equilibrium modeling, Managed retreat
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