New Policy Approaches for Increasing Response to Climate Change in Small Rural Municipalities

Thomas Bausch, Karin Koziol
2020 Sustainability  
Although nearly half of the world population lives in rural small municipalities, research on climate change policy at this level is widely neglected. Frequently climate change adaptation is not a policy field in these small municipalities, which is both a problem and a risk. This paper aims at analyzing the climate policy of small and medium-sized local authorities with specific focus on adaptation. It presents results from a comprehensive survey among approximately 400 small municipalities in
more » ... l municipalities in Bavaria, Germany. The study analyzes the perception of climate change risks and the perceived need for response, the fields of action, the triggering and influencing factors in the political process, and the people and bodies involved. Our findings reveal that in most cases small municipalities do not follow a strategic and holistic approach for climate change adaptation. Especially among small and very small municipalities, the study shows a gap between discussing climate change and setting up mitigation or adaptation measures. In conclusion, we present three policy implications for increasing the adaptive capacity of small municipalities. These address the increase of awareness of adaptation needs, effective management structures and the mandatory integration of a climate strategy into the long-term local political agenda.
doi:10.3390/su12051894 fatcat:uak2sfnlmjh6parniz5bighnru