• 13 July 2023

European policy must embrace climate change adaptation for a sustainable future

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In an era of escalating climate crisis, European policymakers are acknowledging the urgent need to embed climate change adaptation measures within their policies. With mounting evidence of devastating consequences from extreme weather events, it has become clear that adaptation strategies are crucial to safeguarding the continent’s future.

During ECCA2023, it was discussed by scientists, practitioners and policymakers how Europe’s diverse ecosystems and vulnerable communities are increasingly under threat from rising temperatures, sea-level rise and erratic weather patterns. The integration of climate change adaptation into European policy is vital to mitigate these risks and build resilience. By prioritising adaptation measures, Europe can enhance disaster preparedness, protect critical infrastructure and preserve biodiversity.

Additionally, embedding climate change adaptation in European policy will yield substantial economic benefits. Investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and sustainable agriculture will create green jobs, stimulate innovation and ensure long-term economic stability. Recognising the importance of climate change adaptation, European policymakers must take decisive action to incorporate adaptation strategies into their policies. By doing so, Europe can lead the global fight against climate change, setting a precedent for other regions to follow and securing a sustainable future for generations to come.

On Monday afternoon, the World Meteorological Organization presented at ECCA2023 the State of the Climate Report in Europe 2022. It provides relevant information on specific physical science, socio-economic and policy aspects about European climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies for scientists, policymakers, businesses and other actors. Similarly, the Axis side event discussed integrating climate impact research with economics and policy considering the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

On Tuesday 20th June, during the opening ceremony, plenary sessions and parallel sessions, piazza presentations and side events, much was said about bridging research to policy on climate adaptation and the responsibility that the scientific community and policymakers have on guiding society through the transition that needs to take place by the end of the decade. You can watch the opening ceremony and presentations on the ECCA YouTube channel.    

On Wednesday 21st June, socio-economic and environmental challenges that European actors must consider for planning and implementing policies were discussed further. For instance, the session on “Policy implementation”, chaired by Maria Fernanda Rollo, NOVA Lisbon, provided a brief insight into different projects and tools in the field and how they could be mainstreamed in climate adaptation policy.  

Other piazza presentations related to policy were “Challenging policymakers’ perspectives on global temperature scenarios” by Emily Theokritoff and Sylvia Schmidt (FCiências ID) and “ESA’s Climate Change Initiative: providing actionable information in support of climate policy drivers” by Susanne Mecklenburg (European Space Agency).  

The closing ceremony provided an interesting discussion between Marie Donnelly, Irish Climate Council, and Suraje Dessai, European Scientific Advisory Body for Climate Change, on “Bridging knowledge from science to policy and actions: climate advisory councils”. You can watch the presentations and closing ceremony on the ECCA YouTube channel. 

Read more about What we see from space?

Author: Monserrat Budding-Polo Ballinas

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