Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Climate Change Adaptation Task Force


The climate is changing - is Europe ready?

26 September 2012
Serban Chiorean-Sime (Former Programme Assistant at the EPC), Annika Hedberg (Senior Policy Analyst), Caroline Schneider (External authors) and Imogen Sudbury (External authors)



The climate is changing, and unfortunately even the best efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions – the cause of this change – will not stop the extreme weather events that are already affecting Europe today.  Europe can no longer afford to pay for the consequences later. It must start to adapt now. More must be done to address the impact of climate change on biodiversity, water and food security, human health, infrastructure, and overall economic and social development. Measures taken must be smart, cost-effective and, when possible, creative projects that encourage innovation and benefit society as a whole.

This Issue Paper, written by Annika Ahtonen with Serban Chiorean-Sime, Caroline Schneider and Imogen Sudbury shows that although climate-change adaptation is primarily a national responsibility, the EU has various tools at its disposal to help member states, regions and businesses to carry out adaptation measures in a smart and cost-effective way.

The discussion is timely: the European Commission is currently working on an EU Adaptation Strategy, whichis expected to be adopted in the spring of 2013. Also, the EU is still engaged in the final battle over the EU budget for 2014-2020, where one of the remaining questions is the extent to which it will reflect the political priority given to creating a greener and more sustainable European economy, and the extent to which its programmes will promote climate action.

The climate is changing

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