33.2 Climate change action plans for municipalities

Lone Kørnøv , Plan, Development and Design, COWI A/S, Aalborg, Denmark
Jørgensen Lars Overgaard , Plan, Development and Design, COWI A/S, Aalborg, Denmark
Climate change action plans for municipalities
- Case study of urban development and mitigation


 The paper recognizes that climate change requires a strong public sector responsibility and public actions, and that local authorities play a vital role in both adaptation and mitigation strategies. The aim of the paper is to present and discuss:
- A model for local level climate change action planning.
- A case study with climate change action plan from Copenhagen Municipality focusing on linkages between urban development and climate change mitigation.
Climate change action planning
Climate change challenges the local environments and municipalities on two fronts:
1.      Mitigation of further climate changes through reduction of green house gases from municipal activities and geography and
2.      Adaptation to climate change, like extreme weather events including storms, erosions and flooding.
The two principal ways of responding to climate change require action in local level planning and can be included in a municipal climate change action plan.
The third leg in climate planning is the process including e.g. public participation, partnerships, coordination between climate change action plan and additional planning plus the implementation of the actions. A climate change action plan will be measured by its effect, and the ownership of key actors is thereby essential to the success. In the planning process the municipality can choose to involve organizations and citizens while the effort at the same time is embedded in the municipal organization. The plan needs to have a proactive and profitable interface with other plans like e.g. urban spatial plan, environmental plans and other sector plans within energy, water and nature.

 The climate change action plan is a new interdisciplinary type of plan. The point of departure is a programming of the task in which outlining of objectives and economies are key features. Setting up a model for CO2 calculations is a starting point for the mitigating action planning, while risk assessment is the starting point for the adaptation strategy. Instruments are the backbone in the plan and involve both green house gas reduction and climate change adaptation.


 Case study: Urban development and climate change mitigation
The case study presented is based upon the work done by COWI A/S for Copenhagen Municipality in relation to 'The Copenhagen Municipality Climate Plan 2015'. Copenhagen wants to take on the leadership of reducing green house gas emissions. The political objective is a minimum absolute reduction of 20 % in 2015 compared with 2005. The plan is expected to be political adapted before the summer 2009. The paper presents and discusses some of the results from one of the developed instrument catalogues. The catalogue considers urban development and how urban planning can support a climate friendly behavior. The instrument catalogue is one of other catalogues including other areas like transport, energy supply, buildings, behavior and adaptation.

 Urban development and urban growth is a contributor to CO2 emissions and at the same time an essential factor for obtaining CO2 reductions and thereby contribute to solving the climate challenge. Central to mitigation is an urban development based upon compact development, mixed land use and appropriate localization of functions. Such an urban development causes: Reduction in energy demand for heating and cooling in buildings, shorter transport distances, reduced commuting by car, reduction in waste cycles and reduction in municipal infrastructure (water, electricity etc.).

 Building upon existing research on the relationship between urban development, transport and energy use the paper presents the results from calculating CO2 emissions related to different mitigating instruments. It is concluded that planning of buildings and infrastructure plays a pivotal role for Copenhagen Municipality in obtaining reduction of CO2 emissions - especially securing an urban development affecting transport patterns and choice of transport means with reduced car use, increased cycling and public transport. Besides CO2 emissions economic consequences of implementing the assessed mitigation instruments will be presented and discussed.