Municipality leaders dedicated to managing the impacts of climate change

The Klímaválasz project has ended, after training over 140 persons to manage the impacts of climate change.

The one-year Klímaválasz (Climate Response) project provided information, networking capital and a high level of motivation to over 140 training participants from local governments and local NGOs, while revealing that climate adaptation is only possible with dedicated, cooperative local leaders who are open to discussion.

The effects of climate change can be handled locally

The goal of the Klímaválasz training conducted by Energiaklub was to enhance adaptation for the impacts of climate change on a municipal level. Participants contemplated how their municipalities are affected by climate change, what the most vulnerable areas are, and what measures they can implement within their scope of authority in these areas. In the course of the one-year project – realised with support from Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway – over 140 local government decision-makers, representatives and officials and other stakeholders participated from almost 100 municipalities of 4 Hungarian regions.

“I received a lot of specific ideas and practices in this training program, but the most influential feature for me was seeing what kind of cooperation is needed among stakeholders of the local government and other members of the municipality, be it a local resident, an active local NGO, a municipal officer within the local government, an expert or a political representative. The importance of dialogue and cooperation in order to achieve results became clear to me” – emphasized István Ferenczi representative from Kispest (Budapest).

Attila Gáll, mayor of Iszkaszentgyörgy commented: “In rural areas we could say climate change is not our concern, but that would be a wrong assumption. This training made me motivated, and I would like to review thoroughly what I learned here because there is a lot to do in all areas.”

The short film created in the course of this project introduces major aspects of the topic and the key concept of adaptation: vulnerability (other multi-media outcomes of the project).

The website provides assistance to people interested in local-level adaptation even after the closure of the project.

In the course of the project municipality leaders received new and useable knowledge and a system, a framework that enables them to more easily evaluate the locally relevant climate change impacts, the most vulnerable areas and the potential measures they can counter these impacts with.

Professional partners of the program include the Hungarian National Association of Local Authorities (TÖOSZ), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre for Social Sciences (MTA TK), ESSRG Kft., GHG Analytics Kutató és Tanácsadó Kft. and Nordland Research Institute.