Multi-level Governance and Place-Based Policy-Making for Climate Change Adaptation: The European Experience and Lessons for British Columbia


  • Sarah Giest Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Howlett Simon Fraser University



climate change, adaptation, resilience, Lesson-Drawing, government


While Canada is in the early stages of local community climate change adaptation efforts, lessons can be drawn from other multi-level governance systems which have also been grappling with these issues. The European Union (EU) is a prime example of how multi-level governance arrangements can be designed to enhance local community resilience.  While many climate change studies in Canada have typically focused on the experiences of the US and or Australia, the EU experience in this area is also extensive and has many lessons from which Canadians and British Columbians can learn. The EU experience is examined here in order to see what kinds of lessons can be drawn from the multi-level governance arrangements prominent in Europe and whether key multi-level concepts such as subsidiarity developed there can be applied to Canada. The discussion below focuses in particular on local transnational networks such as ‘Eurocities’ and serves as a backdrop for possible new models for place-based climate change governance and local networks in BC