It is inevitable that your area and the relevant authorities will have to shoulder the impacts of climate change when they take place. As a representative of a local or regional government, you have the opportunity to put into action the necessary adaptation and mitigation policies.

Think of combining mitigation and adaptation measures at a strategic and more local level, utilizing the knowledge and concrete experiences of cross-sectoral fields and multi-disciplinary sectors. For example, spatial planners deal with mitigation, but also have to more and more frequently look into adaptation. These local experiences are helpful for your policy decisions!

Did you know that land-use decisions, infrastructure investments, the built environment and urban form have lifespans of at least 40-100 years? This makes climate change an important issue in terms of land-use and spatial planning and, moreover, for business operations!

Policy makers, like you, are needed, because you make the plans worked out by planners legally binding. Furthermore, your decisions act as a guide for entrepreneurs and businesses in your region. Local business and energy interests are stakeholders and are strongly affected by the way you handle the climate change issue. Identifying stakeholders in your region will help you identify local sources of information and influence.

Without knowledge about climate change and its impacts, it is difficult to make sustainable policy related decisions. However, scientists and other professionals are available to provide you with the necessary information and support you in understanding the issue. Out of your findings and the following stepwise process, you will be able to make sustainable decisions for your region!

In order to deal with climate change responsibly as a policy maker you should follow the following four steps of action:

1. Prepare the ground
2. Assess vulnerability 
3. Set the strategic direction 
4. Plan and implement