Overcoming cross-scale challenges to climate change adaptation for local government: A focus on Australia

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Climatic Change, 2013, 121 (2), pp. 271 - 283
Issue Date:
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This paper aims to identify key cross-scale challenges to planned adaptation within the context of local government in Australia, and suggest enabling actions to overcome such challenges. Many of the impacts of climate change and variability have or will be experienced at the local level. Local governments are embedded in a larger governance context that has the potential to limit the effectiveness of planned adaptation initiatives on the ground. This study argues that research on constraints and barriers to adaptation must place greater attention to understanding the broader multi-governance system and cross-scale constraints that shape adaptation at the local government scale. The study identified seven key enabling actions for overcoming cross-scale challenges faced by local governments in Australia when undertaking climate change adaptation planning and implementation. A central conclusion of this study is that a cooperative and collaborative approach is needed where joint recognition of the scale of the issue and its inherent cross-scale complexities are realised. Many of the barriers or constraints to adaptation planning are interlinked, requiring a whole government approach to adaptation planning. The research suggests a stronger role at the state and national level is required for adaptation to be facilitated and supported at the local level. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
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