Consultation on the Preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy
Åpen konsultasjon igangsatt av Europakommisjonen 21.5.2012
Red.anm.: Konsultasjonen avsluttes 20.8.2012.
BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonens konsultasjonsskjema, engelsk utgave)
Consultation on the preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy
In April 2009 the European Commission adopted the White Paper on adaptation to climate change entitled "Adapting to climate change: Towards a European framework for action". The implementation phase of the White Paper (2009-2012) led to significant achievements. In particular:
The vast majority of the 33 actions announced in the White Paper have now been implemented or are about to be.
The European Climate Adaptation Platform (http://climate-adapt.eea.europa.eu/) was launched in March 2012. More and more research findings are being made available on the costs of inaction and action on climate risks.
Mainstreaming climate change adaptation considerations into key EU policies has been an important element of the work in the area of adaptation.
Building on this existing work, the EU Adaptation Strategy aims to enhancing the preparedness and capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change in the EU, its Member States and regions, down to the local level. This includes, inter alia, preparing for and responding to rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, sea level rise and extreme weather events. Based on best available knowledge on climate impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, the EU Adaptation Strategy could outline a comprehensive range of feasible solutions and required actions at all levels (EU, national, regional, local) and dimensions (sectoral and horizontal) to adapt to climate change. The Strategy should respect the principle of subsidiarity and support the overarching EU objectives of a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as stated in the Europe 2020 – Europe’s growth strategy. The Strategy should also take due account of other on-going activities at EU level in which adaptation considerations are already being integrated.
Three key issues could be considered in priority:
• Strengthening the knowledge base
Thanks to global, EU and national research projects our understanding of many aspects of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation has significantly improved over the past few years. Nevertheless, significant knowledge gaps remain for many sectors and policy areas, etc. Strengthening the knowledge base on climate change impacts, vulnerability, and adaptation (e.g. costs and benefits, areas for adaptive intervention) could help develop more effective, evidence-based policy actions. Yet, given the complexity of climate/socioeconomic systems, uncertainties inevitably related to climate change will remain a key challenge for adaptation decision making.
• Working with and facilitating cooperation between Member States/Stakeholders
Effective adaptation action at Member State or regional level is in the interest of other Member States or other regions. Hence, the EU can aim at supporting and facilitating exchange between Member States, regions, cities and all other relevant stakeholders. Addressing cross-border climate impacts and adaptation measures and fostering regional (cross-border) collaboration would also help Member States take appropriate action.
• Developing a policy and market framework for adaptation in the EU
As climate change adaptation is a cross-cutting issue, a most important on-going initiative remains the integration of climate change adaptation considerations into policies, strategies and programmes at EU level. The adaptation strategy could highlight the scope for additional mainstreaming activities in relevant sectors and policy areas. Moreover, many barriers prevent businesses or individuals from undertaking adequate adaptation actions. Various instruments and policies could be used to provide the necessary incentives for cost-effective adaptation action. In particular, the potential of the insurance market, as an instrument, for complementing adaptation measures could be explored. Among the particularly important areas, infrastructures should be mentioned. They are characterized by long investment cycles, which means that they will need to withstand future (and likely more extreme) weather events. Infrastructures are also an essential component of any economic activity. Therefore, an important task could be to enhance the climate resilience of EU infrastructures. Finally, in a context of tight fiscal consolidation objectives, the issue of financing adaptation measures should also be addressed. Both the public and the private sectors must contribute to cost-effective adaptation measures. In terms of instruments, the respective merit of grants and of more complex financial instruments, for instance public private partnerships could be assessed.