Climate change projections show that there will be impacts from changing temperatures and climatic patterns across the whole of Europe. Some of these impacts will be more severe in certain locations than others and the nature of these impacts will differ depending on the geographic location and local context. To ensure that municipalities are protected against the detrimental effects of these impacts and will benefit from any positive changes, it is important that they develop a holistic climate change adaptation strategy. These strategies can vary in scale from a single site or building, a city, the territory of a municipality, or a region, to the national and international level.
Due to the size of many adaptation measures, it is important that local climate change adaptation strategies are integrated into other local and regional adaptation strategies and other relevant policies and strategies.
Collaboration between key stakeholders and consulting and engaging with local residents and communities is vital for the successful creation of a climate change strategy. Therefore, administration bodies must first map stakeholders to identify relevant and influential individuals and organisations to drive the creation and delivery of the strategy.
Once relevant stakeholders have been engaged, it is important to identify the potential scope and format of the strategy, taking into account issues such as focus; spatial scale; format; relationship with other local, regional and national existing and future policies and strategies; financing; and the administration body responsible for delivery.
Adaptation strategies can cover many areas and some objectives will be very context-specific and should be decided on a case-by-case basis. However, in this best practice, you can find the objectives identified by the GRaBS project, which can be useful in all contexts.
It is important to note that there are often numerous barriers to implementing climate change strategies – for example, political resistance, lack of internal organisation capacity and support and shortage of funds. These barriers should be directly addressed at the beginning of the development of the strategy.