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National Adaptation Strategy Adopted/Being updated
  • In June 2011, Luxembourg's Council of Ministers adopted a "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change", [ in French].
  • A revision is planned for the year 2016.
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National Communication on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Submitted 2014

In June 2011, Luxembourg's Council of Ministers adopted a "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change", which prioritizes (i) biodiversity, (ii) water, (iii) agriculture and (iv) forestry and provides a framework for adaptation to the impacts of climate change in Luxembourg [ in French].

 

In its work programme, Luxembourg's present Government stresses that the 2011 strategy will be revised and updated. It should recommend concrete measures mostly in those areas that are the most impacted by higher and erratic rainfalls as well as by river flow regimes: drinking water, agriculture, viticulture, energy, navigation, health and other domains. This revision is planned for the year 2016.

Current priorities are (i) biodiversity, (ii) water, (iii) agriculture and (iv) forestry.

Future priorities (revision planned for 2016) will be areas that are the most impacted by higher and erratic rainfalls as well as by river flow regimes: drinking water, agriculture, viticulture, energy, navigation, health and other domains.

 

Information is provided on vulnerability and adaptation to climate change by sector as it has been used to define the 2011 national strategy.

 

Biodiversity (and natural ecosystems)

Vulnerability: changing climatic conditions are expected to lead to species range shifts, in particular a south to north migration of species. Projected temperature changes could also have an impact on the biogeography of flora.

Adaptation: the "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change" includes the following measures:

o vulnerability analysis;

o the establishment of protected areas and green corridors;

o agro-forestry;

o regional implementation and the planning of measures, conservation and restoration of wetlands and permanent grassland;

o green infrastructure and architecture;

o the monitoring of biodiversity; combating invasive alien species;

o a study on the economics of ecosystem services and biodiversity;

o additionally, the "River Basin Management Plan" (2009–2015) includes measures to re-establish river morphology and a natural river dynamic that should help to preserve and re-establish biological continuity.

 

Water resources

Vulnerability: expected future changes in the water cycle, such as a 0–25 per cent increase in rainfall, with increasing discharges in winter and a 5–25 per cent decrease in rainfall with reduced run-off in summer by 2050.

Adaptation: the "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change" includes measures in the water resources sector, such as:

o a monitoring network;

o riverbank restoration, water retention, water loss reduction, production water recycling, rainwater use and anti-erosion measures, among others.

 

Agriculture (and food security)

Vulnerability: projected changes in air temperatures are likely to induce a modification of the vegetation period in Luxembourg and could cause an increased risk of frost damage to vegetation. The projected increase in temperature is also expected to have an impact on the life cycle of insects. Projections also show that the number of dry periods, as well as the days within a dry period, could increase, causing drier conditions. These factors, as well as the fact that Luxembourg has very little agricultural surface area using irrigation, could lead to significant impacts on the agriculture sector. Nevertheless, Luxembourg does not identify climate change as an imminent threat to national food security, as it is already a net importer of food.

Adaptation: the "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change" includes the agriculture sector and identifies four specific objectives and measures in this area:

o to protect against soil degradation and the maintenance of its production potential;

o to protect animals against heat and potential new diseases;

o to adapt plant production to climate change; and

o to manage risks through multi-risk insurance and the existing rural development policy.

 

Forestry

Vulnerability: projected overall yearly temperature increases could lead to a decline in Luxembourg's forest health, owing to the increased risk of the outbreak of diseases and insect or parasite infestation.

Adaptation: the "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change" specifically targets forests and proposes adaptation measures for forests that include certification, conservation and the use of wood as a renewable energy resource, among others. Luxembourg also monitors the health of forests and is planning to institutionalize this monitoring with legislation. These measures will be integrated into the country's 10-year forest management plans.

 

Drought

Vulnerability: a projected increase in the number of dry periods and the number of days within a dry period demonstrates an increased risk of drought for Luxembourg.

Adaptation: the Water Agency has identified potential adaptation measures, including the prohibition of certain water use to guarantee the water supply.

 

Human health

Vulnerability: a projected increase in temperature in all seasons and an increase in the number of dry periods and the number of days within a dry period could increase the risk of heat waves and have an effect on air quality. Changes in the water cycle could increase public health risks related to water quality and water scarcity.

Adaptation: at this time, the "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change" does not address the area of human health, although it is planned to include additional sectors, such as health, to the strategy within the next two years. Plans are under way for additional water intake points in emergency cases (by 2024) and the resizing of the drinking water infrastructure.

 

Infrastructure and economy

Vulnerability: expected increase in rainfall of 0–25 per cent, with increasing discharges in winter, could increase the frequency of inundations. Luxembourg is currently participating in a regional study to assess the eventual consequences of climate change for floods and low water flow in the Moselle and Saar catchments and to develop adjustment strategies.

Adaptation: Luxembourg has carried out a preliminary flood risk assessment and has prepared flood hazard maps and flood risk maps, and is planning to establish flood risk management plans. Luxembourg also has a flood warning service (http://www.hydroclimato.lu/) operated by the Water Agency, the Agriculture Technical Services Administration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection and the public research centre LIST.

 

This table is derived from Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, Department of the Environment (2014), Sixth National Communication of Luxembourg, 2014 submission under the UNFCCC, Luxembourg, p. 242-243.

In 2010, the "Partenariat pour l'Environnement et le Climat" ("Environment and Climate Partnership") was launched, bringing together several stakeholder representatives to discuss climate change and sustainable development issues. The objective of the partnership consisted, amongst others, in the elaboration of a first "National Adaptation Strategy on Climate Change". Five thematic working groups were created under the Partnership with the aim of building a "Climate Change & Sustainable Development" package of Policies and Measures that could be accepted, hence implemented, by all stakeholders and citizens. The five themes were: (1) urban planning, housing & construction; (2) mobility; (3) energy & eco-technologies; (4) biodiversity, forest, water & agriculture and (5) international aspects and impacts of climate change.

Ministère du Développement durable et des Infrastructures
Département de l'Environnement

4, place de l'Europe

L-2918 Luxembourg
Tél. (+352) 247-86824

FAX (+352) 40 04 10

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