cities and urban areas are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. subnational and local governments play an important role in implementing public policies to cope with these changes. referenced in the international debate, this paper investigates the main factors that support, limit and facilitate the implementation of mitigation and adaptation to climate change in urban areas. through the analysis of 38 case studies from different regions of the world, it seeks to go beyond the analysis of specific contexts and restricted realities, capturing the variety of strategies being adopted by local and subnational governments in developed and developing countries. the paper identifies three groups of factors that support and limit these actions: resources and capacities, knowledge and information and institutions and governance.