Local governments have a unique and critical role to play in managing the risks of a changing climate. The local nature of many climate impacts means that municipalities are often on the front line of climate impacts, and need to ensure effective management of risks, protect community safety, and promote economic sustainability.

Municipalities are well positioned to implement adaptation measures, particularly through processes such as land use planning, community energy planning and mechanisms like zoning or permit regulations. For many communities, changes in climate variability, as reflected in less predictable weather events, may represent a greater challenge for planning than will changes in average climatic conditions.

As an example, there is a projected higher frequency and intensity of rain storms that may increase stormwater runoff and the potential for localised flooding in urban areas. Planting street trees is an initiative that municipalities can implement to both reduce stormwater runoff (adaptation), reducing potential heat islands, while also increasing carbon storage (mitigation).


Further Reading:

Richardson, G. R. A. (2010). Adapting to Climate Change: An Introduction for Canadian Municipalities. Ottawa, Ont.. Natural Resources Canada, 40 p.

HaliFACT: Acting on Climate Together (Report)