Cooperation is key to improve climate change adaptation across Europe’s border regions
Europe’s border regions and shared maritime areas are facing increased negative impacts due to climate change, but countries and regions responsible for these areas are already taking action at transnational scale to adapt to these impacts according to a European Environment Agency (EEA) briefing published today.
The analysis ‘Addressing climate change adaptation in transnational regions in Europe,’ gives an up-to-date state of play of how European countries and regions are working together in adapting to climate change impacts in these shared regions, some of which are considered climate change ‘hot spots’ - most vulnerable to changes.
The briefing focuses on 12 of the 15 European transnational regions including the North Sea, North West Europe, Northern Periphery and Arctic, the Baltic Sea, the Danube, the Atlantic Area, the Alpine Space, Central Europe, the Adriatic-Ionian,the Balkan-Mediterranean, South West Europe and the Mediterranean. These regions cover many EEA member countries where environmental and climate change issues are being tackled via various regional and European Union cooperation initiatives, including the so-called Interreg V B programme. Climate change adversely affects the economy, infrastructure, human health, and ecosystems in these regions and many of these impacts are transboundary.
Some of these regions already have longstanding international conventions that aim to enhance cooperation on many cross-border issues, and have strengthened efforts in climate change adaptation. There are also various EU macro-regional strategies in place, some of which include climate adaptation strategies. These conventions and strategies in many cases include efforts to mainstream adaptation in for example protection and improvement of ecosystems or water management. However, the level of implementation varies.
Building, sharing knowledge key to improving cooperation
Regional adaptation-related projects have focused on improving knowledge, including awareness raising, capacity building and creating networks to exchange information. But this knowledge is not always well exploited, the briefing says. Web-based adaptation platforms, knowledge centres and networks are also active in most of these transnational regions.
The European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT) has a section that provides an overview of information about the policy frameworks and initiatives, including those related to knowledge creation and sharing, in these transnational regions.
The EEA briefing complements recent reports on climate change adaptation recently published by the EEA which include ‘Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016’ and 'Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe — enhancing coherence of the knowledge base, policies and practices' which highlight the urgency to tackle the impacts of extreme weather- and climate-related events and the emerging innovative policies and actions national, regional and local authorities are already implementing.
Source: European Environment Agency (EEA)