Policy Guidance Brief: Challenges of adaptation for local governments
Local governments play a critical role in Australias response to the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise, as they are at the forefront of managing the impacts of climate change through land-use planning, development consent and asset management and protection. This factsheet describes the responsibilities of Australian local governments in a changing climate, while also discussing the current and future effects, impacts and issues associated with this threat. In terms of climate adaptation, although climate change impacts are manifest at the local level, responsibility for adaptive action cannot lie solely with local government. Effective adaptation requires coordinated national leadership to support decisions made at the local level. Within their jurisdictions, local governments should evaluate physical vulnerabilities, to understand where action is most needed, and social vulnerabilities, to ensure that adaptation decisions do not contribute to inequity. Communities should be empowered to build resilience to climate change, to reduce dependency on local governments, especially during extreme events.