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Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe,
Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe,

Versie van 25 mei 2007 om 12:16

European Climate Change Programme II: Impacts and Adaptation

There is growing evidence that the European climate is changing. Global average temperature has already increased by 0.7 °C and in Europe by 0.95°C above pre-industrial levels. As a result of this seemingly small increase in temperature, there is evidence of rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, retreating glaciers, thinning of the artic sea ice and increased incidence of extreme weather or species migrating out of historic ranges to colder climates and thereby changing ecosystems. Europe’s climate is expected to change over the coming years.

Scientists across Europe are trying to predict these climatic changes. Current levels of greenhouse gases result in a further increase of 2-6.3°C in Europe over less than 100 years. In 2004 the European Environment Agency summarized the climate change impacts in Europe, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe.

Changes in the climate are likely to have knock-on impacts on the EU economy and society including water, agriculture, forestry, industry and biodiversity to urban life. Therefore, in addition to avoiding and reversing climate change through reducing in emissions of greenhouse gases, there is a need to ensure that Europe is able to adequately adapt to climate changes predicted for the European regions, which is the intent of this program. the work of the Impacts and Adaptation Working Group and its subcommittees and the proposed green paper on impacts and adaptation to climate change.

Adaptation to climate change involves considering climate change impacts on a range of sectors, organizations and people, and making decisions involves risk assessments and assessments of costs and benefits. The impacts of climatic changes will hit locally and regionally in different ways. The majority of adaptation actions will therefore need to be decided and to be undertaken at the local, regional and national level.

The European Commission is exploring its role and the scope for a policy strategy to adapt to the impacts of unavoidable climate change and how best to assist local, regional and national efforts. As part of exploring options to improve Europe’s resilience to climate change effects and defining the European Union role in climate change adaptation the European Commission is undertaking the following activities:

ECCP II working group on Impacts and Adaptation which has resulted in a range of reports: Impacts on water cycle and water resources management and prediction of extreme events; Marine resources and coastal zones and tourism; Human health; Agriculture and forestry; Biodiversity; Regional planning, built environment, public and energy infrastructure, Structural funds; Urban planning and construction; Development cooperation; Role of insurance industry; and Building national strategies for adaptation (country reports).

A green paper is also being developed on the EU role in climate change adaptation. Extensive researach is also being proposed on adaptation and mitigation options. On July 3, 2007 in Brussels, a conference is being hosted on climate change adaptation.


Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe,

European Commission webpage:

European Impacts and Adaptation Working Group:

Adapting to Climate Change: Launching a Public Debate on Options for EU Action,