The focus of this publication is on how small and medium-sized communities in Europe are effectively responding to climate change, with a particular focus on different approaches used in sustainable energy planning and implementation. A number of cases presented show the result of different (and often combined) motivations and actions. The most effective responses are those with a holistic, integrated and long-term approach, addressing both climate change mitigation and adaptation, based on citizen and other local stakeholder involvement. Local climate action means addressing different sectors, from buildings to waste, but also involving the industry and business sectors. The focus is on engaging communities on a large scale. Local governments play an essential role in this regard: creating a vision for the community, developing relevant strategies, implementing effective policies and rolling out actions - together with other actors. They lead citizens, act in an exemplary manner, and improve energy use in services. The context they act in is also important, influencing approaches taken, with (enabling or blocking) framework conditions, financing, and energy security addressed, as well as a number of important international and European community-specific developments are presented.

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