Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental and Energy Policy (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Social Sciences


Adam M. Wellstead


The climate change narrative has changed from one of mitigation to one of adaptation. Governments around the world have created climate change frameworks which address how the country can better cope with the expected and unexpected changes due to global climate change. In an effort to do so, federal governments of Canada and the United States, as well as some provinces and states within these countries, have created detailed documents which outline what steps must be taken to adapt to these changes. However, not much is mentioned about how these steps will be translated in to policy, and how that policy will eventually be implemented. To examine the ability of governments to acknowledge and incorporate the plethora of scientific information to policy, consideration must be made for policy capacity. This report focuses on three sectors: water supply and demand; drought and flood planning; and forest and grassland ecosystems, and the word ‘capacity’ as related to nine different forms of policy capacity acknowledged in these frameworks. Qualitative content analysis using NVivo was carried out on fifty four frameworks and the results obtained show that there is a greater consideration for managerial capacity compared to analytical or political capacity. The data also indicated that although there were more Canadian frameworks which referred to policy capacity, the frameworks from the United States actually considered policy capacity to a greater degree.