Sustainable Prosperity for Europe

Climate Change Adaptation Task Force

Agenda setting - 1st Task Force meeting

10 November 2010

This first meeting of the Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation considered the impacts of climate change on Europe, looked at the current and foreseen policy measures on adaptation, and helped to set the agenda for the future meetings of the Task Force. The meeting was chaired by Nikolaus Van der Pas, EPC Senior Adviser and former Director-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, and facilitated by Natasha Walker.

In her presentation, Denise Van Regemorter, Professor at the University of Leuven, summarised the main outcomes of the PESETA project, which has assessed the impacts of climate change in Europe in the following sectors: agriculture, human health, river basin flooding, coastal system, tourism. She highlighted the costs of climate change to the EU economy and noted that the negative impacts of climate change can be significantly reduced with modest adaptation costs.

Rosario Bento País, Head of Unit for Adaptation in the European Commission, said that mitigation is already on track, but in adaptation a lot of work still need to be done. The European Commission published in 2007 a Green Paper on adaptation, which was followed by a White Paper in April 2009. The Commission is now building a knowledge base and it has established an Adaptation Steering Group to assist in the formulation of an adaptation strategy.

The Climate Change Adaptation Task Force will next discuss strategies for adapting to the impact of climate change in selected sectors. The suggested sectoral workshops will be organized in the first half of 2011 and they include:

  1. Natural and agricultural resources
  2. Infrastructure (construction, and energy and transport networks)
  3. Health and well-being
  4. Financing and insurance

Some of the issues to be raised in all workshops, in relation to selected sectors include:

  • economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change;
  • adaptation strategies (including role of regions, education and public-private partnerships);
  • EU’s role in adaptation;
  • social and economic impact of climate change adaptation policies and actions, and the question of social justice;
  • potential opportunities for growth, innovation and jobs.

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