The Importance of Climate Adaptation
Why Climate Mitigation and Adaptation Go Hand in Hand
Efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, known as climate mitigation, have become a widespread imperative for local governments. However, scientific evidence indicates that even if we could halt greenhouse gas emissions today, the world would still experience a changing climate for decades to come.
Many of the impacts (changing temperature and weather patterns, drought, flooding, erosion, and sea level rise) will be felt directly at the local level. Local governments have the greatest ability to prepare for these changes, and many are now embracing climate adaptation as a sister strategy to their climate mitigation efforts.
Why Local Governments Must Adjust Their Planning Processes
Most local governments plan for the future by examining trends from the past. Scientific projections for how our climate is changing indicate that those historical patterns and trends can no longer be relied upon exclusively to improve future resiliency. Local governments must retool their planning processes to integrate new science and new technological and policy opportunities if they are going to be truly prepared for climate change.
The good news is that local governments can be highly effective in these adaptation planning efforts and ICLEI is working to provide the tools, resources, and information your local government needs to begin preparing.