Climate change adaptation
Extreme weather events like heavy rainfall, hail, violent storms and heat-waves are increasing in frequency and sea levels continue to rise – the effects of global warming and climate change are undeniable. Urban systems are highly vulnerable to these threats.
Climate impacts vary significantly from region to region, and can fluctuate within definite geographical areas. Adaptation and resilience management is therefore required both on a regional and local scale to move towards resilient communities.
Supporting communities in making tangible changes
ICLEI is committed to supporting cities, towns and urban regions in their efforts to develop adaptation strategies and action plans, and to guide them through a systematic process of implementation and management. Acknowledging the complexity and cross-cutting nature of the challenges, ICLEI emphasises the need to develop strategies for adaptation and resilience as an integral part of any statutory planning process.
ICLEI is an interface between various levels of government - from the European Union to the local level - as well as between research, policy and practice.
ICLEI has been involved in a number of climate change adaptation projects:
Smart Mature Resilience (2015-2018) is a multi-disciplinary research project working to enhance cities' resilience. The project will develop Resilience Management Guidelines to help cities resist, absorb and recover from shocks and stresses caused by climate change, social dynamics and critical infrastructure vulnerability, with the goal of strengthening Europe's nexus of resilient cities.
RESIN (2015-2018) is an interdisciplinary European-funded research project investigating climate resilience in European cities. The project works with cities and research institutions to develop tools to support cities in designing and implementing climate adaptation strategies for their local contexts.
RAMSES (2012 – 2017) is a European research project delivering much needed quantification of the impact of climate change on cities, as well as criteria to prioritise adaptation options. Through understanding city characteristics and climate change impacts on the urban scale, the project assesses risks and vulnerabilities, and the costs and benefits of respective adaptation measures.
EU Cities Adapt (2011 – 2013), a piloting project implemented for DG CLIMA that provided capacity building and coaching for European cities in developing and implementing adaptation strategies.
CHAMP (2009 – 2012) trained and supported local and sub-regional authorities in implementing an integrated management system for climate change mitigation and adaptation, promoting the method and the model Europe-wide.
AsianCitiesAdapt (2010 – 2013) brought together science and policy in order to identify the impacts of climate change and develop policy support tools for adaptation strategies in four Indian cities and four Philippine cities.
ICLEI organises events to share knowledge, create awareness and provide an exchange platform for cities, researchers and adaptation practitioners. Key events include:
- The Bonn Resilient Cities (BRC) Conference, an annual key meeting point for more than 500 cities and adaptation experts from around the world.
- The Open European Day, taking place back-to-back with the BRC, a unique interactive exchange platform focused on European Cities, their requirements to successfully adapt and their supporters.
ICLEI is involved in creating and advancing tools that support local governments in assessing their vulnerability and developing their adaptation and resilience strategies.
Available tools include:
Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready was developed in the framework of the UN World Disaster Reduction Campaign with support from ICLEI.
The Local Government Climate Change Adaptation Toolkit was developed by ICLEI Oceania. It outlines an adaptive management process providing a set of tools and exercises, and should be used alongside Climate Change Impacts & Risk Management from the Australian Department of the Environment.
The adaptation guidebook Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional and State Governments was developed with the contribution of ICLEI USA. It is a framework that communities can use to prepare for, and adapt to, regional climate change.
The Changing Climate, Changing Communities: Guide and Workbook for Municipal Climate Adaptation was released by ICLEI Canada. It provides a framework that municipal governments can follow to plan for climate change.
The UKCIP Adaptation Wizard is an online tool providing a 5-step methodology to support local governments in adapting to climate change.
The Local Climate Impact Profile (LCLIP) was developed by the UK Climate Impacts Partnership (UKCIP). It is a simple tool designed to help assess exposure to weather. It can be used as a standalone tool, or as a step in a risk-based framework such as the Adaptation Wizard
The Climate Navigator from Klimalotse is a German instrument provided on the adaptation portal of the German Federal Environmental Agency. It adopts and updates the UKCIP Adaptation Wizard.
Stadtklimalotse [in German] is an online decision support system provided by the German Bundesinstitut für Bau, Stadt und Raumforschung (BBSR) to support the development of climate adaptation measures in city development.
ICLEI establishes Partnerships for raising awareness on climate change adaptation. ICLEI is currently knowledge partner of the global Connect4Climate programme, launched by the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), dedicated to climate change communication.