Induced by a growing consensus that climate change is inevitable (IPCC 2007), cities worldwide – being both, key sources of greenhouse gas emissions and highly vulnerable to the consequences of the changes - are starting to initiate action to both reduce carbon emission and to confront the anticipated effects. Latin America, the most urbanized of all developing world regions with more than 80% of its population living in urban areas, is no exception. A number of cities are starting to take local action. On the one hand, this provides the opportunity to draw first lessons on how local climate action addresses a whole range of challenges i.e. dealing with uncertainties, engaging in long term orientation and integrating sectors. On the other hand, there is question what prevents other cities from doing the same. This contribution studies the state of ‘formal’ adaptation strategies of four Latin American agglomerations: Sao Paulo, Santiago, Buenos Aires and Bogotá. While Sao Paulo has recently passed a legislation to enact its ‘Plano Municipal de Mudanças Climáticas’, the other three city regions have not yet formally engaged in local climate action. Nonetheless, an intense discussion in all three agglomerations is ongoing with several initiatives. The comparative study consists of three elements. First, it offers an analysis on the level of urban or city regions regarding their specific local climate, the expected future changes and their challenges of response action to climate change. Second, the contribution provides a systematic understanding of the complex interacting processes between climate change and exposed urban functions, sectors and population on the local level. Related questions are: What pressures are driving climate change, how are they interacting, and what consequences or impacts are observed or expected? And how are existing strategies and local action plans responding to these impacts? Third, the contribution intends to make explicit how existing adaption action works and to explain the range of response options adopted by the four case cities along the way they attempt to conceptualize the relationship of the city with ‘nature’. Fourth and finally, based on all three different viewpoints, differences and similarities, as well as challenges and constraints between the different cities are worked out. The contribution ends with a discussion and evaluation of what can be learned from these examples regarding ‘good local climate change action planning’. The research is based on official documents, expert interviews, literature reviews and analysis of statistical data.