What Can Local Governments Do?
Good news: Local governments can take effective actions to protect their communities from climate change impacts
A range of effective strategies and actions can help local governments reduce the negative impacts of climate change, and maximize any positive impacts. What makes climate adaptation strategies so appealing are their numerous co-benefits: saving money, decreasing energy use, increasing community livability, enhancing public health, and creating more robust and just communities. ICLEI's Climate Resilient Communities™ (CRC) Program helps your local government choose the most effective strategies for your local circumstances.
Examples of Adaptation Strategies
- Encourage energy efficiency and distributed power generation from multiple renewable sources to reduce potential for grid overload during heat waves, decreasing the likelihood of blackouts
- Reduce vulnerability to flooding by promoting functional watersheds, including healthy forests and open space
- Counteract urban heat island impacts by planting trees to provide shade and cooling
- Strengthen infrastructure to deal with increased flooding, such as larger bridges and culverts and other stormwater conveyance systems
- Develop building standards that include greater resistance to high winds and flooding
- Diversify water supplies, and promote conservation actions, such as harvesting rainwater
Proactive Planning Is Key
With guidance from ICLEI, adaptation strategies can be incorporated into a local government's existing climate action plan, sustainability plan, hazard mitigation plan, or comprehensive plan. The key is to begin assessing vulnerabilities and setting goals now. ICLEI's Five Milestones for Climate Adaptation simplifies the process, and our ADAPT tool compiles your data and helps you make the best choices.