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EU Climate Change Policies

EU Climate Change Policies

EU Adaptation Strategy

The European Commission adopted its new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change on 24 February 2021.

The new strategy sets out how the European Union can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change and become climate resilient by 2050.

The Strategy has four principle objectives: to make adaptation smarter, swifter and more systemic, and to step up international action on adaptation to climate change.

Smarter adaptation
Adaptation actions must be informed by robust data and risk assessment tools that are available to all – from families building homes, businesses in coastal regions and farmers planning their crops.

To achieve this, the strategy proposes actions that push the frontiers of knowledge on adaptation so that we can gather more and better data on climate-related risks and losses, and enhance Climate-ADAPT as the European platform for adaptation knowledge.

Faster adaptation
The effects of climate change are already being felt, and so we must adapt more quickly and comprehensively.

The strategy therefore focuses on developing and rolling out adaptation solutions to help reduce climate-related risk, increase climate protection and safeguard the availability of fresh water.

More systemic adaptation
Climate change will have impacts at all levels of society and across all sectors of the economy, so adaptation actions must also be systemic.

The Commission will continue to actively mainstream climate resilience considerations in all relevant policy fields.

It will support the further development and implementation of adaptation strategies and plans at all levels of governance with three cross-cutting priorities:

  • integrating adaptation into macro-fiscal policy
  • nature-based solutions for adaptation
  • local adaptation action.

Stepping up international action for climate resilience
The EU will increase support for international climate resilience and preparedness through the provision of resources, by prioritising action and increasing effectiveness, through the scaling up of international finance and through stronger global engagement and exchanges on adaptation.

Next steps
The strategy’s four objectives are underpinned by 14 actions and the steps to be taken to deliver them.

The Commission will discuss the strategy with the Member States in the Environmental Council. The Council is expected to agree to conclusions on the new strategy when it meets in June 2021.

Development of the strategy
The European Commission announced the new, more ambitious EU Adaptation strategy in the European Green Deal in December 2019.

The strategy builds on the 2018 evaluation (accompanied by a staff working document) of the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy.

An open public consultation was conducted in preparation for the new strategy between May and August 2020.