Two publications have been prepared in support to the development of the EU Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and its related Impact Assessment (Acronym: EUAdaptStrat), commissioned by the European Commission, DG Climate Action:
Current and projected impacts in Europe, together with their related costs, suggest that climate change will — either directly or indirectly — test the vulnerability of European society with economic, environmental, societal, geopolitical and technological risks. The security, health and quality of life of European citizens are at the core of the matter and climate change constitutes an additional pressure that challenges most of the components of human and natural systems.
A range of (EU funded and other) projects and exchange with stakeholders have led to an improved understanding of certain aspects of climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation with potential effects on certain policy areas/sectors which have been assessed in detail in the context of the EUAdaptStrat project to inform the development of the EU Adaptation Strategy.
The background report Part I presents a comprehensive compilation about all aspects of relevance for the preparation of the Impact Assessment to the EU Adaptation Strategy. The main results can be summarised as follows:
o Information on the problem definition and policy context (for various environmental and human, social and economic issues), including an overview of adaptation efforts at EU, transnational, EU Member States, regional levels and for the private sector engagement;
o Main arguments stressing the need of a EU Adaptation Strategy;
o Objectives of an EU Adaptation Strategy;
o Potential policy options and analysis of potential economic, social and environmental impacts;
o Recommendations for monitoring and evaluation.
Several Annexes comprise complementary information and background knowledge, detailed tables and model descriptions, including:
o Climate change damage costs overview;
o The ICES model;
o The improved AD-WITCH model;
o Relevant climatic drivers and their potential impacts in regard to environmental, economic and social issues per policy area/sector;
o Case studies on jobs and employment;
o Adaptation options per policy area/sector;
o Critical knowledge gaps per policy area/sector;
o Integrating adaptation into EU policies;
o Social impacts of climate change;
o Social influences on adaptive capacity;
o The Munich Re weather loss data;
o Insurance Company Reporting.
Developing, negotiating and implementing an EU wide Adaptation Strategy requires, inter alia, adequate stakeholder involvement. Thus, stakeholder involvement with the aim to provide information and raise awareness in the context of the EU Adaptation Strategy (i.e. capacity building for adaptation) and gather expectations and needs were seen as important elements in the development process of the EU Adaptation Strategy.
The background report part II presents an overview of the stakeholder involvement activities (January-October 2012) and a summary of the main outcomes as well as the analysis of the “Consultation on the preparation of the EU Adaptation Strategy” which was open from May to August 2012 on the website “Your Voice in Europe”.
The project has been undertaken by the Environment Agency Austria together with Ricardo-AEA, Alterra, FEEM Servizi Srl and Fresh Thoughts Consulting.