Drawing on research from the New England Climate Adaptation Project, this book introduces a framework for building local capacity to respond to climate change. It argues that most of the responsibility for responding to climate risks must be taken by local (not state or national) stakeholders. The authors maintain that local climate adaptation efforts require collective rather than individual commitments to risk management. However, while collective action is called for, many communities are not ready to take on the challenge, and need enhanced capacity to support climate adaptation planning. To this end, the book offers statistical assessments of a particular strategy – using tailored role-play simulations as part of a broader engagement approach – to enhance the readiness of the local population to deal with climate change risks. It also introduces methods for forecasting local climate change risks as well as for evaluating the social and political context in which collective action must take place.

About the Authors

Lawrence Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, and the Founder and Chief Knowledge Officer of the Consensus Building Institute.

Danya Rumore is a PhD candidate in Environmental Policy and Planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, Assistant Director of the MIT Science Impact Collaborative, and an Associate at the Consensus Building Institute.

Carri Hulet is a Senior Associate with the Consensus Building Institute, where she provides mediation and training services on water quality, transportation, climate change and other resource management issues.

Patrick Field is Managing Director of the Consensus Building Institute and Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.