Over the last few decades, European countries have focused on the questions of whether human-induced climate change is real and how we can mitigate it.
Now, not only has a human cause been confirmed, but actual impacts of climate change have also been observed and more are anticipated. As a response to this, many countries have started to develop national adaptation strategies. This report, ”Europe Adapts to Climate Change: Comparing National Adaptation Strategies”, describes how countries have undertaken this task, identifi es some research gaps and policy needs that still exist and indicates the types of new information that will be required for the continued development of adaptation policies in Europe.
The report concludes that the factors driving the development of adaptation policy vary across European countries, but a common element is that developments have been fast. At the same time, there is an urgent need for new climate adaptation research that connects innovative science with local, regional and sectoral policy needs. However, with a few exceptions, such research is yet to begin. The report identifies a variety of opportunities to address these research needs in an internationally co-ordinated fashion, allowing for better informed adaptation policy development. Communication and awareness raising will be important to ensure public support for measures, and to help stakeholders to adapt. The report also summarises strengths and weaknesses of the current strategies in the countries studied. It points out that institutional barriers are likely to be more important impediments to adaptation than the technical feasibility of specific adaptation measures.
Published June 2009PEER Report 1: Europe Adapts to Climate Change: Comparing National Adaptation Strategies(pdf, 4,5MB)