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Policy Dialogue
The EU Climate Adaptation Strategy: Towards a climate-resilient Europe?

Tuesday, 02 March 2021


Cinzia Losenno
Senior Climate Change Specialist, European Investment Bank
Clara de la Torre
Deputy Director-General for Climate Action, European Commission
Elena Višnar Malinovská
Head of Unit for Adaptation, DG Climate Action, European Commission
Filipe Araújo
Vice Mayor, City of Porto
Patrícia Lopes
Environment Attaché, Permanent Representation of Portugal To The European Union


Annika Hedberg
Head of Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme, European Policy Centre

Even if greenhouse gas emissions were to be halted today, the impact of climate change will be felt for decades to come. Weather and climate-related events are already causing disruption across the world, and the future costs for the economy and society will depend, not only on efforts taken to mitigate them, but also on our ability to adapt to climate change. The European Commission’s new Climate Adaptation Strategy, 'Forging a climate-resilient Europe' which was published on 24 February 2021, aims to address these concerns and propose measures for increasing climate resilience in the EU.


This online EPC Policy Dialogue, organised with the support of the European Investment Bank, discussed the European Commission’s new Strategy on Climate Adaptation and its main goals. The discussion focused on the challenges, and prospects for creating a climate-resilient built-environment that can bring wider benefits for the environment, society, and the economy. European Commission Deputy Director-General Clara de la Torre presented the main elements of the new Strategy and reminded the audience that, in addition to mitigation efforts, the EU also has commitments under the Paris Agreement to strengthen its adaptation measures. She highlighted the need for smarter, swifter, and more systemic adaptation efforts, without forgetting the international dimension. These include measures such as collecting more and better data, closing the climate protection gap on climate-related losses, and improving the decision-making processes. The panellists underlined that adaptation and improved resilience must be placed at the heart of the EU and member states' recovery plans. Successful recovery from the COVID-19 crisis needs innovation and improved solutions, for example, new technologies that monitor extreme weather events, and the EU should play a key role in these developments. The need to strengthen local level engagement and dialogue between the different actors and users was also raised during the discussion as a way to ensure better implementation of the adaptation efforts. The event was be chaired by Annika Hedberg, Head of the EPC Sustainable Prosperity for Europe Programme.

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