18/06/2013 - Environment Council (ENVI)
A strategy on Europe's adaptation to climate change
On 18 June 2013, the Environment Council adopted conclusions on a strategy on adaptation to climate change.
Flooding in Dresden, Germany, June 2013.
Climate change has resulted in a higher frequency and
intensity of extreme weather events, with a heavy impact
on society, the economy and nature
© mwtierfoto, Fotolia.com
"Anticipating, predicting and planning for the adverse effects of climate change makes environmental and economic sense, and more importantly it helps to save lives and livelihoods", said Phil Hogan, Irish Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The conclusions are a response to the Commission's communication "An EU strategy on adaptation to climate change".
The aim of the strategy is to contribute to a more climate-resilient Europe by enhancing preparedness and the capacity to react to the impacts of climate change at local, regional, national and EU levels.
The Council invites the Commission to continue to mainstream climate change adaptation in proposals for EU action and further to facilitate climate proofing (increase resilience to risks related to climate variability and change) in EU action, in particular in key policy areas including:
- the common agricultural policy, the cohesion policy and the common fisheries policy
- facilitating more resilient infrastructure
- exploring the need for additional guidance on ecosystem approaches to adaptation,
- exploring the potential of insurance and other financial products for resilient investment and business decisions.
The Council welcomed the Commission's commitment to provide LIFE funding as a complement to other financial instruments, and to support capacity building.
Resilience to climate change can be improved through more informed decision-making. This requires addressing knowledge gaps and developing policy coordination mechanisms at European level.
The communication is accompanied by several working documents, which concern adaptation in the context of coastal and marine issues, health, infrastructure and migration, and contain guidelines on cohesion policy, rural development and on the development of adaptation strategies. The strategy package also includes a green paper on insurance in the context of natural and man-made disasters.