Enhancing the capabilities of local authorities to implemement climate change adaptation strategies

The Adaptation Toolbox for Local Authorities (ATLA) project is designed to enable local authorities across Europe to access the climate knowledge they need to prioritise and implement adaptation strategies. By uniting a leader in climate resilient business intelligence, CLIMPACT-METNEXT with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Regional Implementation Communities, the proposal is to scope out a unified web-based toolbox for local climate adaptation services.

The climate change adaptation issue

As the major global issue of our lifetime, climate change is at risk of simply being viewed from a macro level. But with a growing realisation that its impacts are likely to be felt locally, pressure is increasing for strategic approaches for adaptation to be devised and delivered from a local level. This is putting greater responsibility on local decision makers, who without a unified framework in place, are struggling to gain access to the climate knowledge they need from inside the scientific community. Without this knowledge, and with such a diverse range of services available, it has become difficult for individual local authorities throughout Europe to prioritise and implement adaptation strategies.

The project solution

Adaptation Tool box for Local Authorities (ATLA) aims to enhance the capabilities of authorities in implementing effective climate change adaptation strategies on a local scale. As a pathfinder project, the goal was to investigate and present the potential structure of a coordinated climate change adaptation toolbox. This proposed web-based, user orientated, support toolbox for local authorities will integrate the coordination of a number of climate adaptation services onto a single platform. Meaning it will identify and structure the existing services in place within the Climate-KIC network of partners, but also in its development expose any services that might be missing. Compared to other climate service platforms already in existence, ATLA’s innovation lies in its service design, which uniquely draws different elements of the decision-making process together. The end result of the ATLA pathfinder project will be the definition of a proposed tool box, architecture and possible business models to support the development and design of a marketable product.

The role of Climate-KIC

In the development and design of the project, Climate-KIC helped to unite lead partner, CLIMPACT-METNEXT, with the diversity of resources and partners they need to investigate and present the potential structure of a web-based tool box for local adaptation strategies. Because the ATLA project involves diverse communities in 7 countries across Europe (France, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Poland) one of the biggest challenges was to ensure everyone was on board. Climate-KIC played a key role in helping to motivate people and achieve mutual buy in across the locations. To gain the understanding needed to design the platform the project required a questionnaire to be sent to all local communities, so having people on the ground that spoke these languages was essential.

“The Climate-KIC network of partners involved in the project has added real value. The academic partner has brought solid background to the project. The RICs have delivered a large range of case studies to help identify sub-national needs for climate change adaptation.” , CLIMPACT-METNEXT