Towards climate-resilient cities and regions

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Tue 20, October 2020
14:30 - 16:00 CET
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Adaptation to climate change is largely delivered through the actions of subnational actors. However, the progress made to date by local and regional authorities (LRAs) varies across Europe. The main barriers for LRAs to start adapting or to move from planning to implementation are: insufficient resources (financial, human and technical), unavailability of relevant knowledge, weak political commitment and unsupportive regulatory environment.

In the workshop, opened by the Committee of the Regions, speakers from the European Environment Agency and the Covenant of Mayors will present the status quo of sub-national adaptation to climate change in Europe. The role of regions in securing a climate-resilient future will be discussed in the context of the recently launched Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change Including Societal Transformation. Lessons will be drawn from the Interreg Italy-Croatia Adriadapt project. A debate with the audience will explore how to secure better adaptation-related knowledge for LRAs and how to trigger or boost the implementation of adaptive actions.

Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Climate adaptation expert, European Environment Agency, Denmark.
Lea Kleinenkuhnen, Project manager, Covenant of Mayors - Europe Office, Belgium.
Daniele Capitani, Head of Spatial Planning and Management Department, City of Cervia, Italy.
Aleksandra Kazmierczak, Climate adaptation expert, European Environment Agency, Denmark.
Lea Kleinenkuhnen, Project manager, Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Belgium.
Markku Markkula, Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions, Chair of the Espoo City Board, Committee of the Regions, Belgium.
Sanja Slavica Matešić, Administrative Department of Environmental Protection and Municipal Affairs, Sibenik Knin County, Croatia.
Liviu Stirbat, Deputy Head of Unit Adaptation, European Commission, DG Clima, Belgium.
Green Europe
Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, European Commission - DG RTD, European Committee of the Regions, European Environment Agency, Fondazione Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici, Priority Actions Programme Regional Activity Centre
English (EN)

Session summary

The key conclusions from the six speakers were that there is a need for concerted action at all governance levels to support local- and regional-level adaptation to climate change. Whilst the adaptation planning and risk assessment are relatively advanced, there is an urgent need for implementation and monitoring of the adaptive actions.

The session was attended by around 60 participants, with representatives of local and regional authorities forming the largest part of the audience. The polls run with the audience indicated they have on average a good knowledge of climate change impacts on their area of work, and that knowledge is mainly sourced from international online platforms. Many of them have started implementing adaptation actions through their organisations’ activities, but still require more detailed knowledge on adaptation actions, adequate access to funding and the right legislative and regulatory tools to make further progress.

Take away message

More comprehensive and accessible knowledge on the effectiveness of various adaptation options and on their costs and benefits is needed to boost implementation of actions at the local and regional level.

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