Between 2018 and 2020, Climate Resolve assisted the California’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) in putting together the State’s Adaptation Planning Guide (APG). Climate Resolve used its knowledge of best practices in equity and engagement to influence this statewide resource.
The APG is primarily meant to support local governments in their efforts to work with the community to prepare for climate change impacts such as extreme heat, drought, flooding, and wildfires. The APG provides helpful tools, describes various types of plans and processes, and explains how to integrate adaptation efforts across sectors and jurisdictions. It relies on a 4-step process shown below.
Historically, there have been times when local governments have overlooked impacts to frontline communities (those populations most vulnerable) when preparing for climate change. Oftentimes frontline communities include people of color and low-income residents. Past racist planning policies (such as redlining) have caused some frontline communities to have an imbalance of power and wealth, and some have not been involved enough in past processes of decision making.
The APG encourages local governments to establish equity, outreach, and engagement practices throughout the decision-making processes on climate change planning, particularly to address systemic wrongs and help fairly distribute resources.
Equity is defined in APG as “all people are justly and fairly included in society and that everyone is able to participate, prosper, and achieve their full potential.” Equity in climate adaptation planning means identifying people who are most vulnerable to climate change, and conducting engagement to create adaptation policies and strategies that help residents thrive. The outreach and engagement conducted builds relationships and consensus between local government and residents.
At the end of the day, APG supports a process that leads to co-ownership between local government and the community to become resilient to climate change impacts.
For more information on the APG, go to this website: https://resilientca.org/apg/