Climate change is affecting countries all across the globe. That is why climate adaptation at the international level is vitally important. This is demonstrated by the Paris Climate Agreement from 2015, which addresses climate adaptation in addition to climate mitigation. The new European Climate Law also reflects the importance of climate adaptation.
Adaptation strategy at the European level
The Member States of the European Union have been collaborating on climate adaptation for many years. In 2013, the European Commission drew up its first European Climate Adaptation Strategy. A key element of this strategy is for all the Member States to draw up a National Adaptation Strategy. The European Commission is actively supporting the Member States in their efforts.
On 24 February 2021, the Commission published its revised strategy. By building on the first strategy, the Commission aims to encourage Member States to expedite the implementation of adaptation measures and to implement such measures on a large scale. The Member States have expressed their endorsement of the proposals presented by the Commission. Furthermore, they have stressed the importance of sharing information in support of adaptation measures: information on, e.g., potential measures or on the risks entailed in refraining from taking measures.
Dutch approach is unique
The Delta Programme is the national climate adaptation programme of the Netherlands. The Delta Programme is intended to protect the Netherlands against the rising sea level; to continue to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh water; and to render the country climate-proof and water-resilient. From an international perspective, the Delta Programme is unique: it is a highly comprehensive programme that addresses a wide range of climate issues. Furthermore, all levels of Dutch government are involved.
In the purview of the Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation, it is important for the Netherlands to keep abreast of developments abroad and to keep in close touch with such international bodies as the European Union and the United Nations. Countries are sharing knowledge and experience at the international level. Such knowledge is also of great benefit to the Netherlands.
Some interesting international reports and websites:
- The European Climate Adaptation Strategy (2021)
- Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council regarding the implementation of the EU strategy for adaptation to climate change (2018)
- The page on climate adaptation on the website of the European Commission
- The ClimateADAPT website of the European Environment Agency
- The page on the sixth IPCC Assessment Report in preparation (WGII, Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability)
- The fifth IPCC Assessment Report (WGII, Adaptation, Chapters 14-17)
- The UN-ECE Guidance on Water and Adaptation to Climate Change report (2009)
- Website on the 5th European Climate Adaptation Conference 2021
- The report on the 4thInternational Climate Change Adaptation Conference: “Adaptation Futures”
- The website “Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy”
- The ClimateChangePost website, presenting the latest scientific news on climate change and adaptation