Whilst Member States play a crucial role in developing National Adaptation Plans, it is at the local level that impacts of climate change are felt. As such, local authorities are directly vulnerable to the various impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events, like heat waves, storms, floods and droughts, as well as longer-term changes, like economic losses and public health problems – despite their emissions reduction efforts.
Local authorities are therefore ideally placed to be the key drivers in the implementation of adaptation measures, improving the overall resilience of local territories in policy fields – including spatial planning, public health, civil protection, risk management, energy, water supply and the environment; many initiatives are already in place to do so.
Some local authorities are already ‘trail blazers’ in adaptation, leading the way in implementing planned adaptation action. Through the Mayors Adapt initiative, the European Commission can make available adaptation good practice across the EU to all local authorities.