Residents can make a significant contribution to climate-proofing your municipality and region. Adaptations in your immediate surroundings will help to accommodate the impact of climate change. Moreover, many measures will greatly enhance the looks of your home and garden, and foster a healthy living climate. Together with municipalities, district water boards, and provinces we are preparing our environment for the future climate, something we will all benefit from.
Why is it important to climate-proof my surroundings?
The climate is changing. Its impact is making itself felt slowly but surely. For example, we will be faced with increasingly frequent severe downpours, extreme heat, and prolonged periods of drought. Furthermore, the sea level is rising. These climate trends entail a host of adverse effects, such as increased risks of waterlogging, dehydration of plants and trees, and health issues on account of heat and smog. On the upside, climate change can also involve advantages, such as increased options for outdoor activities as a result of warmer weather.
Which effects can be expected where?
The extent to which the impact of climate change will affect us depends on many factors, such as the layout of our environment and its natural system. Our environment is quite diverse; you only need to look at the differences between urban and rural areas, elevated and low-lying parts of the Netherlands, and clay, peat, or sandy soils. Furthermore, certain groups of residents, infrastructures, and buildings are much more vulnerable than others. That is why climate change will not have the same impact everywhere. The Climate Impact Atlas shows which locations could be affected by which effects. Leaf through the maps pointing out the locations at risk of urban flooding, drought, heat stress, or waterlogging. Fill in the name of your municipality to view which effects could potentially affect your area.
How can I climate-proof my home and garden?
You can do your part by climate-proofing your own home and garden. For example, by purchasing a rain barrel, or by depaving your garden. Roughly speaking: the more greenery and the less pavement, the more climate-proof. Greenery provides cooling and less pavement means that rainwater can infiltrate in the soil. In order to prevent rainwater falling on roofs from ending up in the sewer system, you can “disconnect” your downspout. Collecting water in a rain barrel, in a pond, or on a green roof will reduce the risk of waterlogging. Furthermore, water basins such as a rain barrel serve as a water buffer for dry summers. Would you like to know which measures you can take? Several parties have developed tools to help you get started:
- For an online database of measures to climate-proof gardens, go to the Huisje Boompje Beter or Green-blue Grids
- The Rainproof website features general pictures and tips on how to rain-proof your building, roof, and garden.
- Consult the Water-friendly garden, Living garden, and Living building websites to get started.
- The Ons Water website provides information on how we are working on clean and safe water in the Netherlands, and what individual residents can do.
- Interested in greening your roof? The Duurzaamgebouwd website points out the advantages of a green roof. To view the advantages of a multi-functional green roof, go to the Multi-functional roofs The Natural Roofs Manual provides comprehensive information on constructing a green roof.
- Look on the Bouw & wonen website for tips on saving and reusing water.
- Would you like to involve(neighbourhood) children in the implementation of measures? Then take a look at the klimaatjes.
- Are you faced with imminent waterlogging? The Wacht niet op water website provides tips on measures that individual residents can take in the event of sudden waterlogging. How are you preparing yourself? What should you do and what should you definitely not do in such a situation? View the simple measures that residents Sylvia Waag and Werner Sikken have taken to prevent waterlogging.
What is the difference between climate adaptation measures and energy measures?
Climate adaptation efforts are intended to counteract the impact of climate change, as explained on this page. In addition to adaptation measures, we are implementing measures to counteract the change itself; this is referred to as climate mitigation. Such measures are, e.g., discontinuing the emission of fossil fuels and converting to renewable sources of energy, such as solar and wind energy. Despite all our efforts to combat climate change, we will inevitably be faced with a different climate. However, what we can do is reduce the severity of the impact by implementing energy measures. Adaptation and mitigation measures can go hand in hand; a case in point is placing solar panels on a green roof.
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