Policies and actions

Adaptation to climate change is necessary. Adverse impacts of climate change are already being felt across Europe and will increase in the future, even after Europe has become a climate neutral continent.

We need to anticipate the actual and expected effects of climate change and take appropriate action to prevent or minimise the impacts. Strategies and actions are needed at the local, national, transnational and EU levels. Actions include technological measures, ecosystem-based measures and measures addressing behavioural changes.

European Union

The EU strategy on adaptation to climate change aims to make Europe more climate-resilient.  It complements the activities of Member States, supporting action by promoting greater coordination and information sharing, and by ensuring that adaptation considerations are addressed in all relevant EU policies and funding programmes. The strategy encourages all Member States to adopt comprehensive adaptation strategies, supports action in cities and promotes better informed decision making through developing and sharing knowledge, including through the European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT).

The mainstreaming of climate change adaptation into EU sectoral policies and EU funds is promoted for agriculture, biodiversity, buildings, coastal management, disaster risk reduction, ecosystem-based adaptation, energy, financing, forestry, health, marine and fisheries, transport, and urban and water management.

The European Commission’s evaluation of the EU Adaptation Strategy finds that the strategy has delivered on its objectives to promote action by Member States, ‘climate-proof’ action at the EU level and support better-informed decision-making. The EEA contributed to the evaluation of the EU Adaptation Strategy, including through a detailed evaluation of the European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT).

EEA member countries

EEA member countries are at different stages of preparing, developing and implementing national adaptation strategies and plans. Almost all of them have adopted their own national adaptation strategy and many have developed adaptation plans.

Transnational regions

The European transnational regions are vulnerable to climate change across the wide range of economic sectors and natural ecosystems that they encompass. Their exposure and sensitivity are affected by non-climatic drivers, such as changing land use patterns and population change.

All European regions have already experienced the negative impacts of climate change and they are likely to be even more affected in the future. Specific adaptation strategies exist for four macro-national regions: the Baltic SeaDanubeAlpine, and Adriatic and Ionian regions. Other transnational regions have developed common specific transnational adaptation strategies or action plans, but the level of implementation varies.

Cities and towns

Climate change will influence the environment, economy and society in cities and towns, raising new challenges for urban planning and management. Such climate change impacts on cities have repercussions far beyond municipal borders. Adaptation actions are taken by an increasing number of cities and municipalities, supported through the EU funded Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and other city networks.

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