Over three days, more than 485 in person and more than 2,000 online viewers participated in nearly 70 parallel sessions across three landmark venues in Dublin, Ireland, at the 6th European Climate Change Adaptation (ECCA2023) conference. From as far afield as Taiwan and all over Europe, delegates, presenters and speakers exchanged climate adaptation expertise, shared successes and ‘learning experiences’ as the ECCA2023 conference brought together policy and decision-makers, funders, researchers, practitioners and even artists to progress action to meet the challenges of climate change.
Highlights included the launch of the State of the Climate Report 2022 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), which revealed that Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average. That stark message brought the urgent need for all that ECCA2023 showcased into even sharper focus; a delegation from Ukraine speaking passionately about the ‘ecocide’ inflicted by the illegal invasion by Russia on their country and the powerful, inspiring voices of two climate youth leaders given the stage in both the opening and closing plenaries – Oileán Carter Stritch, Ireland’s Climate Youth Leader, and Katarzyna Smętek, President of the World Urban Forum Youth Council.
ECCA2023 was organised by JPI Climate with the EC Horizon-funded MAGICA project, hosted by University College Cork and MaREI, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine, and sponsored by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency Ireland), ESA (European Space Agency), Dublin City Council, CARO (Ireland’s Climate Action Regional Offices) and the Government of Ireland.
As the packed programme of plenaries, key notes, panels, discussions and workshops unfolded, a common message grew among key scientific and policy influencers – the transfer of climate science and knowledge into climate adaptation must accelerate. The legacy of ECCA2023 will be to connect more closely than ever before scientific research and policy-making, underpinning better-informed decisions on climate adaptation at transnational, regional, national and local levels. Instead of science informing policy, participants were urged to collaborate from the earliest stages. Key messages from the whole programme and six thematic topics will be developed to inform the negotiations at COP28 in Dubai in December, the activities of the MAGICA Project and its future events moving towards ECCA2025.
The spirit of motivated collaboration and determination for accelerated climate adaptation actions reached a crescendo with the conference’s finale – the world premiere of a specially commissioned choral work performed by Dublin choir, Mellow Tonics, and written by Norah Constance Walsh. The Dublin Castle Printworks conference hall erupted into cheers and applause, with a standing ovation for the vocal performance, inspired by a climate speech by former Irish President Mary Robinson and poem by Moya Cannon. It summed up the diversity, passion and enthusiasm of the ECCA2023 programme, contributors and audiences.
Read more news articles highlighting content from ECCA2023 on the MAGICA website
Watch the ECCA2023 opening plenaries from Tuesday 20th June
Watch the ECCA2023 closing plenaries from Wednesday 21st June
Author: Sally Stevens