Business Brains

New tools for communities planning for climate change

Posting in Cities

ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability offers framework for assessing unique risks and setting achievable goals.

The non-profit organization ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability USA has developed a set of tools and best practices for for towns and local governments that might be paralyzed by the daunting process of planning strategies to combat potential climate changes. And, frankly, that probably have a lot of other worries -- like the economy -- aside from the environment.

The framework, called the Climate Resilient Communities Program, includes what is called the Adaptation and Database Planning Tool (ADAPT). ADAPT provides a series of questions and assessments that help a city or community identify its unique risks, set goals and develop strategies to meet there. The framework is available to all 600 or so ICLEI member communities. There are 8 communities that will receive extra guidance to accelerate their efforts. That's because they have stepped forward to get started. They are:

  • Boston
  • Cambridge, Mass.
  • Flagstaff, Ariz.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Lee County, Fla.
  • Miami-Dade County, Fla.
  • San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission
  • Tucson, Ariz.

Martin Chavez, ICLEI USA Executive Director (and the former three-term mayor of Albuquerque, N.M.) says in the press release:

"Local governments have a responsibility to protect people, property, and natural resources, and these leading communities wisely recognize that climate change is happening now, and that they must begin planning for impacts that will only become more severe in the coming decades."

ICLEI is also involved with another initiative emerging over the weekend, called the carbonn Cities Climate Registry. The registry will allow cities to compare their actions, performance and commitments relate to the climate. It will be the official reporting platform for the Global Cities Covenant on Climate (aka the Mexico City Pact), which is supported by cities including Bogota, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona, Jakarta, Sao Paola, Nagoya, Montreal, Curitiba, Dakar, Los Angeles, Quito and Nagpur. The data will be used to produce a public gauge of progress called the Climate 100 in about a year's time. Other organizations backing this initiative include the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Mayors Council on Climate Change.

I don't know about you, but I'm getting kind of confused about the number of initiatives that are taking a stab at helping communities and cities measure their environmental impact. This one seems like a main alternative to the Carbon Disclosure Project Cities initiative, on a potentially much larger scale.

Share this

Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure