Climate change adaptation

Page Last modified 11 May 2020
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This page was archived on 21 Mar 2015 with reason: Content is outdated

The issue

Climate change is happening and will continue to have far-reaching consequences for human and natural systems. Specifically the frequency and intensity of natural hazards are expected to increase, potentially leading to increases in the negative effects of disasters (e.g. floods, droughts). However a large part of such increases so far are due to increased wealth in general and increased infrastructure and human activities in risk prone areas. The contribution due to climate change is projected to increase. Impacts and vulnerabilities differ considerably across regions, territories and economic sectors in Europe. Strategies to adapt to climate change are necessary to manage impacts even if global temperature increases are limited to below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels.

Review process

The European Commission adopted a White Paper on Adaptation to Climate Change in 2009. As a next step the Commission plans to publish a communication on mainstreaming adaptation and mitigation in 2011. The EU is furthermore developing a comprehensive adaptation strategy by 2013, to be supported by a clearinghouse for sharing and maintaining information on climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation (to be in place by early 2012). The Commission also adopted a communication on disaster risk prevention in 2009, which aims to integrate policies and instruments related to disaster risk assessment, forecasting, prevention, preparedness and recovery. The communication also called for improving and better sharing data in the context of the EU civil protection mechanism. The Commission plans to publish guidelines on risk assessment in 2010. Links between disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation are expected to be further explored in the coming years.

Links to SOER 2010 and other EEA products

Global megatrends


Thematic assessments

Other EEA products

  • Population
  • Urban
  • Mitigating climate change
  • Health
  • Ch. 3: Nature and biodiversity
  • Accelerating technologies
  • Ch. 4: Natural resources and waste
  • Biodiversity


  • Continued growth
  •  Land use


  • Global power shifts
  • Soil


  • Global competition
  • Marine and coastal environment


  • Decreasing natural resources
  • Consumption and environment



  • Material resources and waste


  • Environmental pollution


  • Water resources: quantity and flows


  • Global regulation and governance


  • Freshwater quality




  • Air pollution




  • Urban environment


Note: Above cells with hyperlinks lead to specific SOER 2010 information and other EEA products that are relevant to the policy area on this page.


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