What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa.
Pasquini, L., Ziervogel, G., Cowling, R.M. and Shearing, C. 2015. What Enables Local Governments to Mainstream Climate Change Adaptation? Lessons Learned from Two Municipal Case Studies in the Western Cape, South Africa. Climate and Development [online]
25 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2014
Municipalities represent a key opportunity for implementing local adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Most research has focused on the barriers to climate change adaptation, and little research exists that considers the conditions under which a municipality is able to initiate the process of mainstreaming climate adaptation. Through a case study of two municipalities in the Western Cape of South Africa, this paper identifies the factors that enable action to be taken at the local government level. The presence of dedicated environmental champions is key, particularly within political leadership. Experiencing the costs of climate change often provides the strongest initial catalyst for action and is aided by the recognition that the local environment has value. Access to a knowledge base, the availability of resources, political stability and the presence of dense social networks all positively affect adaptation mainstreaming. It is these enabling factors that other government levels and stakeholders need to support with different interventions. We draw attention to two under-researched topics, the effect of political instability on municipal functioning and the effects of social network characteristics on facilitating institutional change.
Keywords: adaptation, local government, mainstreaming, climate change, governance
JEL Classification: K32, K14, H70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation