New guide will help municipalities with adaptation to climate change

Many Swedish municipalities have not yet started working with adaptation to a changing climate. A new guide will make it easier to start and run the climate adaptation work. SMHI has developed the guide together with 15 municipalities and 6 county administrative boards.

Sweden faces major challenges in meeting climate change. Rising seas, increasing precipitation and higher temperatures will affect most parts of society. Swedish municipalities are responsible for a variety of functions and services that are affected by climate change.

Adapting to climate change can be to develop an action plan for the entire municipality. It also imply direct measures, such as reducing flood risk, ensuring access to drinking water and increasing preparedness for high temperatures in elderly care.

“Some municipalities are very successful in their work on adaptation, but many of them have not even started the process. These municipalities need guidance on how to start their work and support during the process”, says Anna Jonsson, National Knowledge Center for Climate Adaptation at SMHI.

Guide for municipalities

The new guide is a freely available web service, aiming particularly at small and medium-sized municipalities. It demonstrates seven working steps and provides checklists for appropriate measures for different actions or processes.

- The guide offers a generic tool for all municipalities. But Swedish municipalities are very different in terms of size, climate risks and ways of working. Therefore, the guide is flexible, and each municipality can decide what is needed in a particular location or at a specific time", says Anna Jonsson.

The guide provides advice for the different working steps, for example to appoint a coordinator and forming a working group, or to analyze risks and consequences and to prioritize actions. Monitoring and evaluating of the work is also important.

Helps more municipalities getting started

The guide has been developed by SMHI in cooperation with fifteen municipalities and county administrative boards. Oskarshamn Municipality is one of those involved in the work.

"The guide will be an aid for us in the municipality to move on. Hopefully, it can lower the threshold for more municipalities to start working, now that this guidance with practical support for climate adaptation is available", says Katarina Skoglycka, climate strategist at Oskarshamn Municipality.

The guide is based on the principles developed within the EU and adheres to the EU Climate Adaptation Tool "Adaptation Support Tool". The guide is a complement to the Climate Adaptation Portal, which offers broader support and knowledge.