Climate Adaptation – European Approach and Success Stories

REGILIENCE and CoM – Europe organized a workshop on “Climate Adaptation – European Approach and Success Stories” as an event of the General Assembly of FEDARENE.

Climate Adaptation – European Approach and Success Stories

On the 15th of June, REGILIENCE and CoM – Europe organized a workshop titled “Climate Adaptation – European Approach and Success Stories” as an event during the General Assembly of FEDARENE in León, Spain.

Regions and energy agencies from across Europe were invited to reflect on the implementation of climate adaptation and resilience measures and be inspired by best practices and experiences from their colleagues.

During the first part of the workshop, Matthias Watzak-Helmer introduced the ongoing opportunities related to Climate Adaptation within CoM – Europe and the mission on Climate Adaptation followed by an in-depth presentation by Johannes Klumpers, Head of Secretariat for Climate Adaptation Mission at DG CLIMA. He shed light on the Green Deal missions, addressing the EU Adaptation strategy and the objective of supporting at least 150 EU regions and communities towards climate resilience by 2030 as an initial step to achieve a climate resilient society by 2050.

Highlighting the focus on regions, the Mission aims to include all regions regardless of their past progress in climate adaptation actions and provide knowledge and support to facilitate the climate adaptation process. EU regulations require member states to provide national adaptation strategies (NAS) and plans (NAP) which can include further support for regional actions. The CLIMATE-ADAPT platform provides all current and past National adaptation strategy (NAS) and National adaptation plan (NAP) documents as well as a lot of helpful information.

Finally, Johannes Klumpers shared the fact that 248 applications have been received to become a signatory of the Mission Charter, whereas 118 signatories have been announced during the first mission to adaptation forum this June.

The second part of the workshop focused on the presentation and discussion of successes and failures in resilience pathways. Some good practices and project examples of climate adaptation and resilience were highlighted:

  • The integration of climate and energy actions into the spatial plans of the city of Karlovac. Based on the city’s plans within the Covenant of Mayors Strategic Energy and Climate Action plans, REGEA supported the inclusion of energy and climate measures into the cities spatial plan. Together, they developed Croatia’s first green spatial plan with measures such as ban on the use of fossil fuels for heating, limitation of personal car use in certain areas or the requirement of car parks with green spaces and rainwater management. This process has empowered the City of Karlovac to take the first steps towards the implementation of an integrated and enforceable pathway towards both climate neutrality and resilience. This success already piqued interest in other Croatian cities which are following this process.
  • ClimaStory is a pedagogical support for collective reflection on climate change adaptation designed as a serious game. Based on a topographical map of a fictitious territory different stakeholders from a community play together to increase climate resilience. This raises awareness on the impact of climate change and illustrates the interconnections between different sectoral actions. The participants are able to make decisions regarding different sectors (Agriculture and forestry, Industry; Tourism, trade and crafts; Safety and health; Planning, management of resources and biodiversity; commerce, security, health, tourism) and try to find solutions together. For the moment, the game is only available in France but AURA EE aims to develop maps for each of the territories that want to participate and bring discussions that would help regions develop their Climate Adaptation pathways.
  • To contrast the negative effects that suppose artificially enclosing the land by dams in the Netherlands, the energy agency of Fryslân Province proposed and implemented the idea of creating small holes in dikes allowing irrigation and the natural flow of water and fish. This helped to restore the natural habitats of fish.
  • In lower Austria 23 dedicated Climate Managers are employed by the communities. To ensure that the climate adaptation is coordinated the Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria, eNu, employed 4 coordinators. They are supporting the local Climate Managers in their daily work and function as contact point. Additionally, the coordinators help with planning and implementing climate local measures with a better adaptation approach as well as being a first contact point for support.
  • Remarkable project is working on the development of a training material on climate plans with the aim to create a map with specific measures towards climate neutrality. The project includes several regions in Europe.

By the end of June, REGILIENCE will organize another virtual workshop on “National Adaptation Plans and Strategies in Theory and Practice – Role of the National and Regional Governments” aiming to assess how the EU and national institutions play an important role in the green transition at local and regional levels.