Equitable Adaptation Legal & Policy Toolkit

Posted on: 3/22/2021 - Updated on: 4/27/2021

Posted by

Kathryn Braddock


Many local governments and community-based practitioners are incorporating principles of equity into their climate adaptation planning and implementation. This toolkit highlights best and emerging practice examples of how cities are addressing disproportionate socioeconomic risk to climate impacts and engaging overburdened communities. This toolkit will further explore how cities are moving beyond equitable adaptation planning and implementing policies that address both social equity and climate resilience. The toolkit is organized into four major sections: 

  1. Introduction to the Problem and the Need for Equitable Climate Adaptation Solutions;
  2. Procedural Equity: Tools for Planning, Engagement, and Governance;
  3. Equitable Adaptation Policies & Programs: Implementing Equitable Adaptation; and 
  4. Funding Tools: Paying for Equitable Adaptation. 

Each section includes chapters that explore the legal and policy tools that encourage equitable processes and outcomes associated with the referenced subject matter. Each chapter has Considerations and Lessons Learned sections that include the primary takeaways from each example. These findings capture the approaches and tools that other local policymakers and communities may consider when developing or implementing their own equitable adaptation strategies.


The toolkit is intended to aid local governments and community-based organizations nationwide that are centering equity in their adaptation initiatives. In comparing promising practices and case studies across cities, the toolkit draws lessons from different approaches and provides frameworks to help practitioners craft similar legal and policy options for their own jurisdictions in ways that will help them advance equitable responses to the impacts of climate change.


Tiffany Ganthier

Managing Organizations

The nonpartisan Georgetown Climate Center seeks to advance effective climate, energy, and transportation policies in the United States—policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt to climate change.

The Center performs a vital role in the development of policy by: