Center for Climate Strategies Adaptation Guidebook

The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) "Comprehensive Climate Action: An Adaptation Guidebook," provides a complete stepwise, fact based, sector-specific methodology on climate adaptation action planning and policy development. The Guidebook details a methodology for developing and implementing a climate adaptation strategy at the multi-state, state/province, regional, or local levels, and provides several resources, tools, and example frameworks. According to CCS, the process can be used by a diverse group of stakeholders and technical experts, working with agency officials and the public, to build consensus on adaptation plans and programs that are fully implementable in less than a year. 

When applied comprehensively and across sectors, the tools and templates set forth in this Guidebook offer a complete process for developing and implementing a climate change adaptation plan. The adaptation plan will include processes for measuring opportunities, risks, and impacts, as well as for informing decision-making. Every adaptation action identified has been tried and tested for its effectiveness; each step informed by the lessons of stakeholder-based, consensus driven planning.

The Guidebook is organized to provide a stepwise approach to adaptation. Each chapter can be used independently as a resource or the chapters can be used as a sequential guidance detailing the process of completing a comprehensive adaptation plan.

For example, Chapter 2 demonstrates a process for identifying priorities for overall adaptation planning. Chapter 3 presents adaptation actions that could be used as guidance for any jurisdiction undertaking the adaptation planning process, particularly at the state level.

Chapter 4 provides metrics that can be used to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of implemented adaptation initiatives, and Chapter 5 offers decision-making techniques that are helpful in evaluating and ranking adaptation measures.

Appendix 3 provides a detailed comprehensive list of adaptation policy options for five key areas including: economic activities, health and society, infrastructure and the built environment, natural systems, as well as cross-cutting issues. This adaptation catalog was developed based on a survey of nations (i.e., Spain, Australia), states (Maryland, Florida, Alaska), counties (King County, Washington; Miami-Dade County, Florida), and cities (Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles) that have integrated adaptation systematically.


Publication Date: September 13, 2011

Authors or Affiliated Users:

  • Thomas D. Peterson
  • Michelle Wyman
  • Gloria Flora
  • William Dougherty
  • Joel B. Smith
  • Stephen Saunders
  • Steve Chester
  • Tom Looby

Related Organizations:


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Planning guides

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