Climate Adaptation Planning

Adapting to the impacts of human-caused climate change is a critical challenge facing cities worldwide. Formal planning for climate change adaptation is emerging rapidly throughout the United States. paleBLUEdot recommends taking a broad-scope approach to Climate Adaptation Planning where the effort is focused on integrating strategies and actions within wider ranging community concerns - like social equity, poverty, and sustainable economic development. The comprehensive approach of addressing climate risks through a Climate Adaptation Planning effort can be an effective way to increase awareness and build momentum for change within a community or organization.

Key aspects of an effective Climate Adaptation Plan include:

  • Consideration of available resources and opportunities to leverage new resources.

  • Consideration of the associated carbon emission reduction opportunities and other co‑benefits of strategies.

  • Studying the anticipated equity impacts of strategies.

  • Considering the urgency and window of opportunity in strategy prioritization.

  • Whenever possible select strategies that provide everyday benefits in addition to climate risk reduction. These forms of strategies are known as “no regrets strategies” and they can be justified from economic, social, and environmental perspectives whether natural hazard events or climate change hazards take place or not.

A Climate Adaptation Planning effort should focus on a community outreach process to develop support for the finalized strategies as well as to begin the process of developing public awareness and engagement in implementing the adaptation strategies

Communities and organizations addressing climate adaptation should also focus on understanding their greenhouse gas emissions and develop Climate Action Plans which focus on mitigating their contribution to the effects of climate change.