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Book: Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional and State Governments
Published 31 August 2007 by ICLEI (original article)

Preparing for Climate Change is the first major local government guidebook on planning for the impacts of climate change. Produced by ICLEI (best known for their widely-implemented Cities for Climate Protection local GHG tracking and mitigation framework, King County (home of Seattle, Washington, and one of the leaders of the new Cool Counties initiative) and the University of Washington.

Published 31 August 2007 by ICLEI,

» Download the Climate Change Guidebook from University of Washington.

» See also ICLEI's Climate Resilient Communities program.


Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional and State Governments
Center for Science in the Earth System, University of Washington
King County, Washington
ICLEI -- Local Governments for Sustainability

2007, 186 pages.

Local government leaders now have a new tool to help them plan for the impacts of global warming, which range from drought and increased flooding to new diseases and invasive species that are harmful to humans and the environment. King County, Washington, Executive Ron Sims, will introduce "Preparing for Climate Chance: A Guidebook for Local, Regional and State Governments" at the third annual Sundance Summit: A Mayors' Gathering on Climate Protection where more than 40 mayors are meeting to discuss their local climate action.

The guide was co-authored by the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington, King County Executive Ron Sims (in Washington State), and King County's global warming team. ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability is a contributing partner and is distributing the guidebook nationally to its more than 250 U.S. member cities, towns and counties. The guidebook will become part of ICLEI's Climate Resilient Communities program, which is administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The program enables communities to integrate climate preparedness strategies into existing hazard mitigation plans, reduce the costs associated with disaster relief, and prioritize vulnerabilities such as infrastructure, zoning and water capacity.

Earlier this year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report, "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, " which indicated that certain areas in the United States are already susceptible to flooding, coastal erosion, drought, heat waves, health impacts, and intense hurricanes and wildfires due to global warming.

Executive Sims was initially inspired to write the guidebook with Climate Impacts Group after hosting a large conference on the regional effects of climate change in October 2005. Local leaders attending the conference and those working with ICLEI and the Climate Impacts Group have expressed the need for this type of resource to help with the new work of adaptation facing communities across the nation. In response to this need, the guidebook is designed to take the mystery out of planning for climate impacts by specifying the practical steps and strategies that can be put into place now to build community resilience into the future. These steps include creating a global warming adaptation team; identifying community vulnerabilities to global warming; and identifying, selecting and implementing adaptation options.

Read the Executive Summary.

Please Give Us Feedback on the Guidebook

Your feedback on the guidebook is important. When downloading the full copy of the guidebook, you will be prompted to provide your contact information for future assessment of the guidebook's effectiveness in helping local, regional, and state governments prepare for climate change. Involvement in this follow-up survey work is voluntary and is not required for downloading the PDF. We hope you will be willing to share your thoughts on the guidebook's strengths and weaknesses, as well as your experience in preparing for climate change, for future editions of the guidebook.

Download the Climate Change Guidebook

Guidebook Contents

* Executive Summary
* Key Terms
* Suggested Checklist
* Chapter 1 - Take Action, Take Advantage: An Introduction by King County Executive Ron Sims
* Chapter 2 - A Scientific Overview of Climate Change and Its Impacts
* Chapter 3 - The Case for Governments to Prepare for Climate Change
* Chapter 4 - Scope Climate Change Impacts to Your Major Sectors
* Chapter 5 - Build and Maintain Support to Prepare for Climate Change
* Chapter 6 - Build Your Climate Change Preparedness Team
* Chapter 7 - Identify Your Planning Areas Relevant to Climate Change
* Chapter 8 - Conduct a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
* Chapter 9 - Conduct a Climate Change Risk Assessment
* Chapter 10 - Set Preparedness Goals and Develop Your Preparedness Plan
* Chapter 11 - Implement Your Preparedness Plan
* Chapter 12 - Measure Your Progress and Update Your Plan
* Chapter 13 - Taking the Long View: Final Thoughts on Preparing for Climate Change
* Chapter 14 - Sources
* Appendices

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