A Framework for Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation within Local Government Operations

By Md Anisuzzaman and Philip Jennings.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Adapting to the impacts of climate change is a crucial challenge for Local Government Authorities (LGAs). LGAs provide essential services to the community including land use planning, infrastructure delivery and maintenance, public health and safety and disaster management. They therefore, have a vital role to play in identifying, planning and implementing effective and timely adaptation actions. However, little is being done by LGAs in Australia in regard to climate change adaptation planning and implementation of adaptation measures, despite the potentially severe consequences of procrastination.

The issues that inhibit the local governments from taking action on climate change adaptation include lack of awareness about climate change risks and vulnerability, lack of sufficient resources, absence of a mechanism to facilitate cross-departmental planning and lack of ability to recognize climate change risks as corporate risks. Mainstreaming climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning within city planning and operation would help address many of these issues.

This paper aims to provide an understanding of the issues that need to be considered in developing a framework to assist mainstreaming of climate change adaptation within local government operation and planning and increasing the resilience of the cities to climate change. Information from local governments across Australia has been collected through a survey questionnaire and face-to-face meetings. Responses from the local governments indicate that a general awareness about climate change exists but the capacity to estimate the severity of local impacts is absent. Climate change impacts often cross local government boundaries and become regional issues. Regional collaborations can help to build capacity to address climate risks and adaptation planning. The paper summarizes the responses and discusses the key elements of the design of an adaptation framework for local governments to help them mainstream climate change adaptation into their operations.

Keywords: Climate Change, Adaptation, Framework, Local Governments, Networking

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.31-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.823MB).

Mr Md Anisuzzaman

PhD Candidate, School of Engineering and Energy, Murdoch University, Perth, Perth, Australia

Anis Zaman has been professionally involved for 15 years in sustainable energy use in building, energy management for businesses, renewable energy project design and development, environmental audit and climate change risk assessment and adaptation planning. Anis has worked in a few different countries being part of large scale environmental projects. In Australia, he has long experience working with the local governments and helping them reduce greenhouse gas emission and enhance adaptive capacity to climate change impacts. Anis has provided expert environmental consultations for various market sectors including winery, engineering manufacturing and food processing industries. Anis has authored a number of publications and served as a reviewer of an international energy journal.

Prof. Philip Jennings

Professor, School of Engineering and Energy, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

Philip Jennings is Professor of Physics and Energy Studies at Murdoch University and has been involved in renewable energy research and education for more than 25 years. He has led Murdoch University’s efforts in developing a range of educational programs in renewable energy. In addition to renewable energy education he has research interests in photovoltaics, especially amorphous silicon solar cells, and attempts to improve their efficiency and stability.

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