This presentation critically explores, through a planning perspective, current approaches to policy intended to address the need for adaptation to climate change. By exploring and ultimately facilitating critical thinking about the many multifaceted aspects of climate change vulnerability, the barriers in planning practice that prevent adaptation policy from being truly effective and equitable are discussed. Ultimately, the presentation argues that the urgency and complexity of climate change requires overcoming socio-political barriers within the existing adaptation paradigm, balancing technocratic methods with a collaborative approach focusing on the social, economis, and ethical components of vulnerability to climate change. 

Sarah Kehler is currently a PhD student at the University of Alberta; her general area of study is Urban and Regional Planning. She is currently a research assitant with the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Lab, focusing on barriers to achieving equitable and effective policy for adaptation and resilience to climate change.  Sarah hoilds a MSc in Earth Atmospheric Sciences and a BA with a double major in Human Geography and Design. Recently her work has focused on the influence of governance structure in provision of policy and planning, and the importance of social vulnerability within climate change adaptation policy.