Urban Klima 2050 presents at Adaptation Futures 2023 its action plans for Basque citizen empowerment in regards to climate change


The project detailed its co-creation initiatives by means of a “virtual paper” at the world's leading climate change adaptation conference in Montreal (Canada).

The LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 project presented its action plans for citizen empowerment in regards to climate change at the world’s largest climate change adaptation conference, Adaptation Futures 2023. The event took place on 2-6 October in Montreal (Canada) and gathered 1,500+ climate change and adaptation experts from all over the world.

The presentation took place virtually, and Urban Klima 2050 detailed the main conclusions of the “Co-creation of action plans for citizen empowerment in regards to climate change”, a study which aimed to generate a strategic framework that encourages people to take action.

To this end, the Urban Klima 2050 team has developed a working methodology that takes into account the different profiles of Basque citizens in terms of perception and concern regarding climate change. This first phase, in which Basque society has been categorised according to the contextual, social and individual factors that affect their environmental behaviour, is key since, according to the study, it is essential to adapt the strategies and actions that promote a change in habits according to the particular determining factors and realities of each individual.

Furthermore, in order for empowerment actions to be effective, they must be aimed at overcoming the barriers that prevent or hinder people from changing their routines. Barriers identified include limited knowledge of climate change, ideological reasons, comparison with other people, the perceived cost associated with these actions, mistrust and denial, perceived risk, or limited behaviour that is limited to small changes.

As a result of the analysis carried out, the methodology establishes 6 strategic lines of action to achieve citizen empowerment:

  1. Inform the public objectively and truthfully about the climate situation, its causes and consequences
  2. Communicate and make visible climate actions, in a specific way and aimed at involving citizens
  3. Raise awareness of the importance of climate action
  4. Educate to share values and knowledge that encourage a critical attitude and change of habits
  5. Encourage citizen participation in decision-making on climate action
  6. Change the context to facilitate individual or collective climate action 


The work has shown that the use of overly technical language, the high number of initiatives and the inability to connect with young people or with citizens’ concerns are barriers to citizen empowerment. On the other hand, using clear and direct messages; presenting climate change as an opportunity and making it close, personal and urgent; using economic incentives and social comparison; and putting more effort into profiles with greater possibilities for change are some of the levers that can mobilise Basque citizens.