Spotlight Activity: Implementing the EU Adaptation Strategy
The European Commission adopted an EU strategy on adaptation to climate change in April 2013. The EU Adaptation strategy focuses on three priorities which are to raise awareness and increase action by member states, organize adaptation knowledge and catalyze new research, and lastly to investigate the impact for key vulnerable sectors. A description of the three focus areas is provided below. By the end of 2018, the EU will complete an evaluation of the Strategy to examine the actual implementation and performance of the policy.
So far, a lot of progress has been accomplished. In fact, 21 out of 28 countries have adopted a comprehensive national adaptation plan. Moreover, between 2014 and 2017, € 190 million or 42% of the LIFE budget dedicated to climate action was set aside for adaptation projects at local and regional levels, as well as new financial schemes to fund adaptation grants.
Mayors Adapt – the Covenant of Mayors Initiative on Climate Change Adaptation – was set up by the European Commission to engage cities in taking action to adapt to climate change. It was launched in 2014 as a parallel adaptation initiative to the Covenant of Mayors, which focused on mitigation. In 2015, the European Commission merged the two initiatives in an effort to promote an integrated approach to climate and energy action. From 2017 onwards, adaptation and therefore the Mayors Adapt initiative is entirely integrated into the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.
Although much has been accomplished, a critical aspect of success is whether countries will take action based on their adaptation recommendations and whether significant future funding will be available to adaptation projects for the period after 2017.
Brief overview of the EU Adaptation Strategy:
Priority 1: Promoting action by Member States (MS)
Action 1: Encourage MS to adopt Adaptation Strategies and action plans
Action 2: LIFE funding, including adaptation priority areas
Action 3: Promoting adaptation action by cities along the Covenant of Mayors Initiative
Priority 2: Better informed decision-making
Action 4: Knowledge-gap strategy
Action 5: Climate-ADAPT platform
Priority 3: Key vulnerable sectors
Action 6: Climate proofing the Common Agricultural Policy, Cohesion Policy, and the Common Fisheries Policy
Action 7: Making infrastructure more resilient
Action 8: Promote products and services by insurance and finance markets
Status: Moving Forward
The EU Adaptation Strategy was very comprehensive and successful at catalyzing policies, knowledge, and finance around adaptation.
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European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy