To prepare for decisions, it is necessary to get more detailed information about the climate and socio-economic scenarios, the impacts, the assessment of vulnerability for different sectors and, consequently, a weighing of risks and opportunities stemming from climate change.
The vulnerability assessment provides an overview of climate change affected sectors and integrates different sectors into the climate framework by defining the synergies and conflicts between them. Exercises for specific sectors (e.g. transport, housing, energy, agriculture) completed by planners and scientists will help to identify the challenges and opportunities relevant to the whole region. You have to initiate and support the implementation of the exercises to a certain extent to figure out the right perceptions in every sector and on every administrative level. However, you are in luck as planners already have experience in the integration of diverse fields of action and can lead the process on the administrative level. Utilise them! It is important to be familiar with the different aspects of climate change impacts in order to be able to deal with them in a suitable way.
You as a policy maker have the possibility to reduce the impacts on and establish the planning reliability for entrepreneurs and companies by sustainable decision making and introducing mitigation options in your region (e.g. renewable energy network support, development of efficient transportation systems). Regional and local entrepreneurs are the best experts to analyze the effects of climate change on business. However, they often lack information about climate change impacts. By endowing the regional companies (as stakeholders) with more detailed information on climate policy, cooperation between them and policy makers can be strengthened. Active cooperation between policy and the economy is a key factor in strengthening the regional economy in terms of increased competitiveness and welfare.
Businesses are affected by climate change directly. There can be a need to adapt their supply chains and product life cycles, or even employees’ working conditions. The environment will change and each entrepreneur and company needs to deal with the impacts on their supply chains, product life cycles and final goods. Well prepared companies are less vulnerable to climate change impacts. They can also prevent further negative impacts by making use of mitigation options, which can in fact, reduce the production costs of their goods.
You have to engage the economic and the private sector, make them aware of their responsibilities and how they can call attention to climate change (e.g. using staff training)!
Regional policy makers take international and national regulations into account when developing regional regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. National and regional policies are very important for businesses because they have to integrate the current policies into their business plans. Remember – businesses have to consider changing policies, changing markets, as well as the changing climate!
You can find challenges and chances for local and regional development for the important sectors of transport, energy, housing and agriculture in the linked list below. These sectors are increasingly affected by climate change and highly relevant for policy makers, spatial planners and business people.
Sectors with their challenges and chances for local and regional development include: