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Abigail Howells – DG Environment European Commission BASIC Workshop - New Delhi 11 th / 12 th May 2006 Adaptation: Perspectives and Experience from the.

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Presentation on theme: "Abigail Howells – DG Environment European Commission BASIC Workshop - New Delhi 11 th / 12 th May 2006 Adaptation: Perspectives and Experience from the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Abigail Howells – DG Environment European Commission BASIC Workshop - New Delhi 11 th / 12 th May 2006 Adaptation: Perspectives and Experience from the EU

2 A Changing Climate: the evidence Raising temperatures: the global mean surface temperature increase by 0.6ºCelsius over the 20 th century (greater over the land than over the oceans) The increase during 20 th century was greatest in past 1000 years Predictions of a global increase between 1.4 and 5.8ºCelsius by 2100 (from the IPCCs TAR)


4 A Changing Climate: (cont.) Sea level rise – in response to thermal expansion of oceans and melting of glaciers and ice caps, global msl projected to rise by 0.09 to 0.88m between 1990 and 2100. Consequences on costal erosion, flood and water resources (e.g. salt-water intrusion) Melting of ice sheets: e.g. Greenland - impacts on sea level rise (7m) and may cause shutting down of Gulf Stream Retreat of glaciers: impacts on localised flooding and water resources

5 Water cycle Increased precipitation over land by 5-10% over 20 th century (but decreased over some areas: Mediterranean, north/west Africa) Observed increase in heavy precipitation events – particularly mid and high northern latitudes Droughts – increase in frequency and intensity in some regions

6 Extreme weather events Storms, floods, droughts and heat waves to become more frequent, more severe, more costly

7 Human health Increase of fatalities from extreme weather events (heatwaves, floods) Photo Source: Changes in the spread of vector-borne diseases, food and water-borne pathogens Photo Source: Sinclair Stammers, World Health Organization, Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases

8 Biodiversity Disruption of ecosystems from fires, droughts, pest infestation, invasion of species could lead to the extinction of some 25 % of mammal species and 12 % of birds Photo Source:

9 The Need for Adaptation in Europe Temperature increase of 2ºC to 6.3ºC in Europe (1990-2100) Variations in precipitation : wetter northern Europe / drier in the south Annual costs from flooding in Europe could increase to 100-120 billion by 2080 (from Association of British Insurers)

10 European Climate Change Programme Set up in June 2000 to identify measures enabling EU to meet Kyoto targets 42 innovative measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions identified and implemented (inc. ETS) Feb 2005 Communication: Winning the Battle against Climate Change, outlining key elements for the EU's post-2012 strategy – reducing Europes vulnerability to the impacts of climate change

11 ECCP II Launched on 24/10/2005 in Brussels Review progress made so far Consider future mitigation measures (CO 2 and cars, aviation, carbon capture and storage) Adapt to climate change Creation of 5 distinct working groups, including Impacts and Adaptation

12 Workgroup Objectives Improve Europe's resilience to Climate Change Impacts Integration of adaptation into European Climate Change Policy Identify good practice in development of adaptation policy and foster learning Define EU role in adaptation policies

13 Adaptation challenges Uncertainty: Long time-frames, Different levels of certainty (projections, risks extremes, major events) Irreversible losses such as ecosystems Conciling policy action and legislation to be carried out at regional / local level by public / private sector and to be stakeholder-led, rather than enforced Allocating costs: Who should pay?

14 Adaptation Challenges (cont.) Cost-effectiveness: Climate proofing all human activities would be extremely expensive Avoiding Mal-adaptation: Inefficient use of resources compared to other options, adaptation that is ineffective (scenarios that not appear) or displacing vulnerability from one sector to another Economic, ethical and political considerations: long- term impacts vs costs of adaptation options now, equity and distributional benefits (protection of those less able to adapt vs those with capital / resources)

15 Successful adaptation : a 3-tiered concept Prepare to adapt by building capacity Research Awareness Policies Monitoring Alter existing plans to manage climate risks and take advantage of new opportunities Urgent and high priority Win-win, Low cost Existing frameworks Disaster responses Implement adaptation actions Cost-effective/Cost benefit analysis Additional criteria- existing frameworks Modify infrastructure Alter processes

16 Workgroup Work Programme Stakeholder engagement exercise - 10 sectoral meetings: (April – June 2006) Impacts on water cycle and water resources management Marine resources and coastal zones and tourism Human health Agriculture and Forestry Biodiversity

17 Workgroup Work Programme (cont.) 10 sectoral meetings: Regional planning, Industrial and public infrastructure, Structural funds Urban planning and construction Development cooperation Role of insurance industry Building national strategies for adaptation (country reports) One wrap-up session to adopt individual status reports (September 2006)

18 Research Activities Identify cost-effective adaptation strategies through a call for proposals for the (6th and 7th Framework Programme, RTD) Organisation of 3 two-day workshops (December 2006) How will climate change affect EU citizens? Scenarios of climate change at regional and sub- regional level in the EU How to improve the resilience of European society and economy? From climate modelling to building cost effective adaptation strategies Economic assessment of adaptation strategies

19 Output Production of status reports for each of the 10 thematic meetings European Commission Conference on Adaptation (November 2006) Publication of a Green Paper on Adaptation (November 2006) for consultation

20 ...Thank you for your Attention

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