This was written for Blog Action Day 2012, on the theme The Power of We.

When it comes to action on climate change, it’s hard not to have an effect far beyond the immediate actions you’re taking. If you’re mitigating climate change by cycling to work or developing clean technology then you’re ultimately benefiting the whole planet. If you’re adapting to climate change by improving water management on your property or planting wildlife corridors then you’re helping your local community to cope with unprecedented changes.

On this second point, a SIN project is taking place this year to collaborate internationally on adaptation to extreme, climate change-driven weather events.

As part of our 2012 Collaboration Development Awards (CDAs), SIN is linking the London Climate Change Partnership to the Toronto WeatherWise Partnership with a short visit and ideas-exchange. Both organisations were formed to determine what climate change-related threats the cities faced, and how to deal with them before they caused major problems.

They are composed of a diverse mix of public servants, businesses, NGOs and members of the public, with broad mandates to make sure that everyone can live and work safely through chaotic climate-related events. By pooling expertise and best practices, both cities can harden their infrastructure against extreme weather more efficiently, improving productivity and saving money.

Examples of “climate-proof” infrastructure upgrades include sewage overflow containment to prevent raw sewage flowing into the water table during storms, road materials that don’t melt in heatwaves and low-impact retrofit cooling for older buildings.

We’ll report back on the LCCP-TWWP collaboration when the visit happens later this year, and look forward to both communities benefiting from the enhanced protections that get rolled out.

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