Scientific consensus indicates that the climate is changing at a global scale and that greenhouse gas emissions are chiefly responsible for the change. To help mitigate climate change, the region's comprehensive plan GO TO 2040 recommends important local steps like improving energy efficiency and encouraging the use of low-carbon transportation alternatives, such as walking, biking, and transit. While it remains critical to reduce emissions to limit climate change, it is wise to prepare for its impacts at the same time.
The Climate Adaptation Guidebook for Municipalities in the Chicago Region (PDF) is a resource for communities interested in adapting their planning and investment decisions to a changing climate. Essentially, this means improving resilience to future weather impacts. The central reason for considering climate change is that, in many instances, it will be cheaper and less disruptive to plan for anticipated conditions than to retrofit or rebuild later. Since it is meant for municipalities, this guidebook concentrates on sectors and services that are typically under their jurisdiction.