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The 'LOCALISED' effect: Amplifying local climate resilience strategies

Seeding climate resilience right from our own backyards

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While national efforts to mitigate climate change are crucial, they often overlook the specific needs and challenges local communities face. Imagine this: regions struggling to adapt to unpredictable weather, businesses striving to adopt sustainable practices, and natural habitats under increasing stress. These localised challenges need tailored, immediate solutions, as extreme weather events have transitioned from sporadic occurrences to frequent and severe disruptions impacting communities worldwide. Floods, droughts, and heatwaves are no longer distant threats but are happening in our backyards, affecting our daily lives.

The disconnect between high-level strategies and localised challenges results in a critical gap. It often leads to ineffective plans that fail to account for the specific regional nuances crucial in mitigating the impact of climate change.

Consider the farmer whose livelihood depends on consistent weather patterns, facing unpredictable rainfall that damages crops or coastal regions witnessing the gradual erosion of their cherished shorelines. These aren’t just inconveniences; they're urgent issues requiring immediate, focused actions.

Addressing climate change at the regional and local level isn't merely about technological innovations or policy changes; it's about safeguarding communities' livelihoods, preserving local ecosystems, and securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

Real-life Challenges in Europe

Real-life examples highlight the urgent need for tailored, localised solutions to address climate challenges and climate resilience in Europe. Instances like Vienna's urban heat islands [icon1] (Austria), water scarcity concerns in Barcelona's drought-prone areas (Spain), and industries transitioning toward sustainability in the Metropolitan Area GdanskGdynia-Sopot (Poland) underscore the necessity for effective, locally tailored approaches.

Take Vienna, ranked as the most liveable city globally. It's also leading in climate mitigation by strategising to combat urban heat. Initiatives like 'cool streets' utilising 'fog showers' help residents beat the heat. These streets are part of Vienna's broader infrastructure plan, including new bike routes to reduce car emissions and a commitment to planting 4,500 trees annually.

Moreover, Vienna retains heritage—maintaining over 1,000 public drinking fountains and a network of pools dating back to the 1920s. Such measures counteract the 'urban heat island' effect where cities trap heat, making them hotter than surrounding areas.

In Catalonia, the situation is increasingly alarming. The region is currently grappling with the most severe drought it has ever faced, marked by reservoir levels plummeting to a mere 18 percent of their capacity. The local authorities are now bracing themselves for urgent and drastic actions, including the potential transportation of fresh water to meet essential needs. This distressing scenario is primarily attributed to the adverse effects of climate change. Over the years, Catalonia has witnessed a consistent trend toward hotter and drier weather conditions. These shifts have led to a distressing depletion of reservoirs, rampant wildfires, and significant agricultural losses, painting a grim picture of the region's struggle to cope with the escalating impacts of a changing climate.

The LOCALISED Solution

In response to some of these pressing challenges, enter the LOCALISED project. Its main goal is to enable local areas to deal with their unique climate challenges by creating tailored plans and solutions for climate resilience using innovative tools which provide local data. These plans  are designed to help local businesses and communities adapt to climate change and reduce their carbon footprint.

But LOCALISED is more than just a European-funded project—it's a driver of real change. It's developing a powerful tool called the Decarbonisation and Adaptation Profiler, set to launch in 2025 (with a preview in 2024). This tool isn't your average software; it's a game-changer. It'll provide vital insights into climate patterns, offer practical steps, and engage communities to make personalised plans for a sustainable future.

Tools developed in LOCALISED projects aim to translate national and EU net-zero targets into local action planning for different target groups in order to boost best solutions for the specific context. Local citizens, planners, decision-makers and businesses will be empowered to design best pathways for their region or company by using the tools and the data included and enriching it with their local knowledge and possibilities”, states Christiane Walter, LOCALISED project coordination team, from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

Besides this groundbreaking tool, LOCALISED also offers the Net-Zero Business Consultant, helping local businesses to check their vulnerability. And it's designed to be accessible to everyone, with versions available in 24 different languages.

Overall, LOCALISED aims to unite communities, governments, and businesses to create effective plans for a more climate-resilient future. It's all about empowering local areas to make meaningful changes in the fight against climate change.

Community-Driven Solutions

The essence lies not in grand strategies but in community-driven actions. It's about fostering collaboration among local and regional entities—authorities, businesses, and citizens—to chart a course toward resilience amidst climate challenges. LOCALISED emphasises that addressing climate change at the local level necessitates a concerted effort to bridge the gap between overarching strategies and on-the-ground realities. Recognising that the most effective solutions emerge from communities themselves—empowered and unified—the initiative propels Europe towards combating climate change's profound impact on everyday lives.

PIK, established in 1992, is a non-profit institute focused on global change, climate impacts, and sustainable development. Its mission: advance interdisciplinary climate research for global sustainability and contribute solutions for a safe climate future. Researchers worldwide collaborate to assess Earth's resilience and promote sustainable development.

The LOCALISED project, managed by the Urban Transformations group in Research Department 2, focuses on Climate Resilience.  


Christiane Walter,
LOCALISED project coordination team  


Inmedia Solutions

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research             

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Author: Anna Casasas

Author: Anna Casasas

author image

As a journalist focused on promoting European projects, my main aim is to make people aware of the valuable initiatives and opportunities they offer. Through my ...

Inmedia Solutions



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Christiane Walter
Christiane is doing research related to social and media sciences. Therefore, she is also often involved in project communication. Besides her scientific work s ...

Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


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