Academy participant refines contribution to conference, with tangible results

Adaptation Academy participants can advance on-going projects whether work or study-related. Stefan Wray from the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs was a participant in 2013. He wrote that "The Oxford Adaptation Academy exposed me to the most current thinking about climate change adaptation and resilience. And it helped me refine my career objectives as I enter this new and expanding field."

Whilst attending the Academy he was able to refine his contribution to a conference hosted by the LBJ School of Public Affairs, Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategies. Rather than focusing on climate change mitigation, which typically involves actions meant to reduce global climate change e.g. cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the conference explored how communities can adapt to the already evident effects of climate change. This symposium featured scientists, academics, architects, activists and leaders in city government discussing how to adapt to climate change. While some Texas cities have taken up climate mitigation, by reducing carbon emissions and investing in renewable energy, few have developed formal plans to adapt to the effects of climate change.

Stefan noted that one outcome of this conference - directly attributable to it - is that the Austin City Council passed a resolution on adaptation in November 2013. The City is now beginning a process to develop adaptation planning; the first city in Texas to purposefully do this.

The resolution:

"directs the City Manager to improve the City of Austin's climate resilience by analyzing climate change projections, determining how departmental planning efforts integrate future impacts of climate change and could be enhanced moving forward, identifying a process for performing departmental vulnerability assessments, and recommending next steps to develop, prioritize, and implement departmental strategies to increase resilience, and provide a report to City Council by May 1, 2014."

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