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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Latvia is situated on the edge of the Eastern European Plain near the Baltic Sea between 55o40' and 58o05' Northern latitude and between 20o58' and 28o14' Eastern longitude. The total length of the border of Latvia amounts to 1387 km on land (with Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia) and 498 km along long maritime border with Sweden.

The territory covers an area of 64573 km2 in total. Its length in the North – South direction is 210 km, and the width in the West – East direction – 450 km. Latvia is a typical lowland country, and its terrain is characterized by flat, low areas and hilly elevations. The average height above sea level is 87 m and the highest peak is Gaizinkalns (311.6 m above sea level). There are more than 3 000 lakes and 12 000 rivers in Latvia.

Latvia is located in the temperate climate zone; relatively flat terrain, the proximity to the sea and air masses from the Atlantic Ocean influence climate in the country. Climate is mild and humid with four explicit seasons.

In 2020, the average air temperature in Latvia was +8.8 ºC (2.4 degrees above the normal for the period of 1981-2010), making it the warmest year on record (since 1924), exceeding the record of 2019 by 0.6 °C (Figure 1). All three warmest years on record are since 2015, and period 2011-2020 was average 1 °C above normal. Total amount of precipitation in 2020 in Latvia was 641.5 mm, 7% below the annual normal (692.3 mm). Although year 2020 was drier than normal, it was the wettest of the last three years. In Latvia the average air temperature of winter 2019/2020 was +2.7°C (5.7 °C above normal), becoming the warmest winter on record, by 1.7°C overcoming record of winter 1924/1925. January with an average air temperature of +3.1°C was the warmest on the record, while February (average air temperature +2.2°C) was the 2nd warmest, only behind February 1990.

Total area (km2) - 64 594

Land area - 62 227

Inland waters - 2 367

Protected natural areas - 7 789

Structure of country area at the beginning of the year 2020:

Agricultural - land 35.7%

Forest - 48.0%

Other (land under roads 2.2%, land under buildings and yards 1.6%, other land 5.1%) - 8.9%

Inland water – 4.1%

Swamps – 3.3%
At the beginning of 2020, resident population in Latvia was 1 million 908 thousand people (46.2% men, 53.8% women). In 2019, population decrease rate constituted 0.64 % (compared to 2.16 % in 2010). In 2019, as the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, population of Latvia decreased by 8.9 thousand people, while because of the long-term migration – by 3.4 thousand, which is the lowest indicator recorded since 1989. Since 1991, population growth in Latvia has been negative. At the beginning of 2020, Latvian urban population was 1 million 306 thousand (68 %) and rural population 602 thousand people. Riga residents (627 thousand) constituted 33 % of the total population. Over the last three years, the immigration has been increasing every year, while the number of emigration has declined.

At the beginning of 2020, the average age of population of Latvia constituted 42.7 years – 39.4 years among males and 45.5 years among females (in comparison: at the beginning of 2011 those were 41.1, 37.9 and 43.8, respectively). The lowest average population age was recorded in Pieriga region (40.8), while the highest in Latgale (44.8).

Average life expectancy of people born in 2019 comprised 75.6 years – 70.8 among males and 79.9 among females.
As the economy of Latvia is small and open there is significant dependence on the trends of global economy. Foreign trade is important, with exports of goods and services accounting for about 60 % of the gross domestic product (GDP). The services sector had the dominating share in Latvia value added (VA) total followed by manufacturing and construction, while the agriculture sector and other industries had a minor role. In 2020 the most important sectors in the manufacturing were wood processing, food and beverages, electrical appliances, fabricated metal products and chemical industry products.

Reporting updated until: 2021-03-14

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
Adaptation portals and platforms
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
In Latvia the LEGMC (Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre) is the Latvian National Hydrometeorological and Climate Service and is responsible institution for developing of climate monitoring, modelling, projections and scenarios.

LEGMC performs climate monitoring by continuous climate change data collection, as well as monitoring extreme events, data storage and analyses of long-term observation results. LEGMC ensures implementation of the State ‘Environmental Monitoring Programme 2015 – 2020’ which consists of four parts: 1) air and climate change monitoring, 2) water (surface and groundwater) monitoring, 3) land (incl. coastal zone erosion) monitoring, and 4) biodiversity monitoring. LEGMC observation network is established and connected with interactive map where data from meteorological observations is provided. Regarding flood risks in Latvia, LEGMC has developed flood risk management plans and early flood warning systems for all river basin districts of Latvia. Flood risk information system and maps are published online: http://www.meteo.lv/lapas/v[…]sistema?id=2103&nid=889

LEGMC then prepares reports and provides information to the public, to the State and local governments, and to international organizations. It also provides services for customers, including national aviation authorities, Latvian National Armed Forces, civil protection authorities and energy companies. Climate change information is presented in various formats, tailored to the user needs. LEGMC regularly publishes 10-day weather data, summarizing the recent climatic events and putting them in context of climate change. LEGMC also actively publishes information on social networks, regarding climate monitoring, projections and advances in the climate change research. Information regarding specialized climate indices is prepared for various stakeholders, for example standard precipitation index (SPI) for agriculture and insurance companies.

LEGMC experts have also conceptually designed a system for monitoring adaptation to climate change on a national scale. Such monitoring system is essential for further development of national political strategies, since it consists of data and indicators that measure vulnerability of different economic sectors (e.g. health and welfare, agriculture, forestry, civil engineering) due to climate change.

Regarding climate modelling, projections and climate change scenarios, LEGMC has performed a detailed analysis of long-term historical climate data and, in collaboration with the Finnish Meteorological Institute, developed future change scenarios (until year 2100) http://www4.meteo.lv/klimatariks/zinojums.pdf. Climate change scenarios correspond to the projected values of either average or high amounts of greenhouse gas emissions based on the IPCC 5th (Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) assessment report. Multiple climate models are adapted to territory of Latvia by bias correction and statistical downscaling methods. Results are extensively analyzed by team of analysts and climatologists, and improved by comparing them to the latest climate change monitoring results.

For wider public the visualization of the climate change scenarios is available online in the Climate Change Analysis Tool http://www4.meteo.lv/klimatariks/. Climate Change Analysis Tool allows to explore current and projected future climate scenarios in Latvia in the form of maps and graphs. Maps display 30-year average values of the selected climate indices. A summary report of these results is available as well as all the data is freely downloadable for further scientific research.
As a member of WMO (World Meteorological Organization) LEGMC provides representative observational network with systematic and qualitative meteorological observations in the whole territory of Latvia. Within the framework of climate change monitoring, information is obtained from meteorological observation stations located in Latvia. Permanent weather observations are needed for climate change trends characterization and assessment. Systematic maintenance, development and data collection of observation system reduces uncertainty of climate change adverse effects. Long-term climate monitoring and climate change detection at the national level is ensured by collection of meteorological and climate information with its further systematization and storage in data bases.

Meteorological observations in Latvia are collected in accordance with national meteorological observation program. The methodology of meteorological observations is based on the WMO guidelines.

In 2020 meteorological observations were made at 24 meteorological and 7 hydrological stations that are evenly distributed through the territory of Latvia. Observation stations are equipped with automatic measurement devices and appropriate software to ensure real-time monitoring of the meteorological data.

Systematic changes in meteorological observation system are the main source of uncertainties and errors of climate monitoring, therefore these changes are accurately documented to ensure opportunity to include this information into climate change analysis and to evaluate the impact of these changes.

The main challenge is to develop and improve meteorological observation network to reduce uncertainty in climate observations and ensure data compatibility. Primary goals are to include additional cloud, precipitation, snow, freezing depth and solar radiation observations in the network as also to increase overall station density. Meteorological observation network development plan also includes development of meteorological radar network and automation of radio sounding.
In Latvia assessments have been carried out on primary and secondary impacts of climate change, risks and vulnerability, which include also cost – benefit analysis for adaptation measures, indicators and draft for the monitoring system. The analysed sectors are as follows:
• biodiversity and ecosystem services,
• forestry and agriculture,
• tourism and landscape planning,
• health and welfare,
• building and infrastructure planning,
• civil protection and emergency planning.

Assessments include consideration of:
• historical climate change impacts from 1961 and future scenarios until 2100,
• risk and vulnerability assessment,
• identification of adaptation measures and cost–benefit analysis,
• identification of adaptation indicators,
• engagement of stakeholders, determination of their responsibilities.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
  • Changing wind patterns
Water
  • Snow and ice load
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
  • Changing wind patterns
Water
  • Snow and ice load
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Under the impact of recent climate change a uniform increase in air temperature, expressed in mean, minimum and maximum air temperature values is observed. During the period 1961-2010 annual mean air temperature has increased by 0.7 °C, annual minimum temperature by 0.7 °C as well, but annual maximum temperature by as much as 1.4 °C.

Most of the changes has been observed in winter and spring seasons. The number of frost days (daily minimum temperature < 0 °C) in the period from 1961 to 2010 ranges from 96 days in the coastal area of the Baltic Sea to 155 days in Aluksne and Vidzeme upland areas, and during this period the average number of such days in Latvia has decreased by 9 days per year. Also, the average number of ice days (daily maximum temperature < 0 °C) in Latvia has decreased on average by 9 days per year, in some locations – by an average of 5-11 days per year.

Changes are also observed in the climate index values characterizing extreme hot weather conditions. There has been observed an increase of frequency in tropical nights (daily minimum temperature > +20 °C) in the last couple of decades. The general increase in air temperatures has also affected the length of the growing season – since 1961 by an average of 2 additional days per year and in Ventspils by even up to 10 additional days per year.

Upon analyzing climate model projections for future periods, a further temperature increase is clearly seen. According to the scenarios, it is expected that by the end of the century annual maximum air temperature will increase by an average of 3.6ºC in RCP 4.5 scenario and by 5.7ºC in RCP 8.5 scenario (RCP – Representative Concentration Pathways according to Fifth Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5)). Under climate change impact the length of growing season and the number of summer days and tropical nights will continue growing, and the number of frost days and ice days will be falling. This means that climate hazards associated with heat, such as heatwaves and wildfires are also more likely in the future.

In the period from 1961 to 2010 an increase in annual precipitation also has been observed by an average of 6% or 39 mm. Similarly, to changes in the air temperature, the most significant increase in the amount of precipitation has been observed during the winter season; an increase is observed also during the spring and summer seasons, while in the autumn season there has been even a slight reduction in the amount of precipitation. Precipitation intensity has also increased by an average of 0.1-0.6 mm/day, which in turn has increased both the intensity and frequency of extreme precipitation events.

Up to 2100 a further increase in precipitation amount is expected by 13 to 16% (about 80-100 mm) according to RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios respectively. Seasonally, the most significant increase in the amount of precipitation is expected during the winter and spring seasons. According to the moderate climate change scenario, in winter the amount of precipitation will increase by 24-37%, while the significant climate change scenario projects an increase by 35-51%. The scenarios also project an increase of the precipitation intensity – by about 0.1-1 mm/day according to the RCP 4.5 scenario, and by 0.5 to 1.3 mm/day according to the RCP 8.5 scenario.

Projected increases in the precipitation and its intensity might increase the frequency of hazards such as heavy precipitation events and flooding. However, as there still remains seasons of small or no precipitation increase, droughts still remain a possibility in Latvia.

In the long-term period, average wind speed curve is trending slightly downwards and, although climate model projections show uncertainty, they mostly confirm continuation of this type of mean wind speed change tendency up to the end of the 21st century. However, number of stormy days in Latvia (days, when the average wind speed >10.8 m/s) are projected to remain constant. This means, that climate hazards, such as cyclonic storms or convective storms will be observed in the future.

Most significant climate change are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Events, such as heavy precipitation and floods, heatwaves or uncharacteristically strong storms will be observed in the future.

Summary of observed and prognosed climate change in Latvia:
• Between 1960 and 2010 the average air temperature in Latvia increased by 0.7oC on average (mainly in winter). By 2100, the average air temperature could rise by 3.5oC to 5.5oC.
• The number of frost days between 1960 and 2010 have decreased by about 4-16 days, when comparing the reference years of 1961-1990 and 1981-2010. By the end of the century, the number of frost days will decrease by 50-80 days.
• The number of annual frost days between 1960 and 2010 in Latvia varies between 37-80. When comparing the two reference periods of 1961-1990 and 1981-2010, the number of ice days have decreased by about 5-11 days. The number of ice days will decrease to only 40-50 days in 2011-2040 and about 20-30, or less, by 2100.
• Since 1961, precipitation in Latvia has increased by 39 mm. By the end of the century it will increase by 80-100 mm (13-16%). The most significant increase is expected during winter (in a significant climate change scenario – up to 35-51%), while in the summer precipitation will decrease in some parts of Latvia.
• The average vegetation period in Latvia has been 170-240 days. As a result of the rise in average air temperature, it will extend by an average of 1 to 2 months by 2100.
• Since 1961, the number of days with snow cover in Latvia has decreased by an average of 0.5 days a year (one day every two years). By 2100, average snow cover thickness in Latvia can be expected to shrine by at least 50%.

Changes in climate parameters and indices over time affects not only natural capital (species, habitats, ecosystems) but also health, well-being, safety and economic activities of the population. The most significant risks identified in Latvia are seasonal changes (including changes in vegetation period); wildfires; increased spreading of pests and pathogens, tree diseases, displacement of local species, invasion of new species; prevalence of respiratory diseases; infectious diseases; heat strokes; floods caused by intensive precipitation; storm surges; power disturbances; runoff increase, hydropower oscillations; decrease of frost occurrence and intensity, frost without consistent snow cover; drought; eutrophication; infrastructure damage, equipment overheating; reduction in water runoff during the summer season.
Changes in temperature, wind and precipitation patterns can have both – direct and cascading effects. For example, due to the increased air temperature the ice cover in the Baltic Sea in winters have decreased, which affects all species are vulnerable to decreasing ice cover. In addition, as the ice cover area and the length of the ice season decreases, larger coastal areas are exposed to coastal erosion during the intense storm season. This is accompanied by rising water levels as a result of climate change. In future key hazards are expected to affect not only natural capital, but also human health, safety, well-being and economics.

The key future secondary effects to Latvia are:
seasonal changes (including changes in vegetation period);
wildfires;
increased spreading of pests and pathogens, tree diseases, displacement of local species, invasion of new species;
prevalence of respiratory diseases;
infectious diseases, heat strokes;
floods caused by intensive precipitation;
sto

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, agriculture is exposed to different climate change impacts: changing temperature, heat waves, drought, heavy precipitation, flood, changing participation patterns, extreme weather events.

More specifically, according to risk and vulnerability assessments, agriculture is more exposed to:
• Increase in average air temperature in winters and decrease in the duration of the meteorological winter, increase in average air temperature in summers and an increase in the duration of meteorological summer, an increase in the probability of more frequent and longer periods of drought in the summers; increase in number of days with very high temperatures in summers.
• Increase in total annual precipitation, changes in the amount of precipitation in the summer months, increase in the probability of sudden and severe thunderstorms in summer.
• Greater uncertainty of snow cover thickness, decrease in the number of days with frozen soil, formation of air mass contact bands, creating suitable conditions for freezing rain; increase in wind gusts in some regions of Latvia.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature and changing precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of agriculture and food production to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
The most significant identified risks in agriculture are the risk of freezing of crops and plantations, the risk of crop and animal diseases and pests, the risk of crop and crop loss due to rainfall at harvest, the risk of faster soil drying and prolonged heat waves.

The risks are mainly economic. The social impact arises indirectly from the economic risks: as the yield of certain crops decreases, the well-being of farm owners decreases, as does the farm's ability to employ workers, thus leaving a socio-economic impact on the region in which the farm is located. The impact of these risks is particularly significant in cases where several farms in the same region are affected (for example, herds affected by animal diseases).
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that agriculture is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately, but can cause serious damage to the yields if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of agriculture and food production to key hazards is likely to increase.

Among the most significant identified and predicted climate change risks are freezing of crops and plantations, the spread of crop and animal diseases and pests, crop and crop quality losses due to precipitation, droughts, faster soil drying and the effects of prolonged heat waves.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, biodiversity in Latvia is exposed to different climate change impacts, especially related to changing temperature, water and solid mass related.

The most significant impacts of climate change that may affect biodiversity and ecosystem services in Latvia are the following:
• increase in air temperature, increase in the minimum air temperature in winter;
• earlier onset of the spring, extension of the summer season;
• increase in water temperature and water level, increase in the frequency of surface water level fluctuations;
• changes in precipitation (increase in certain seasons), greater probability of more frequent and longer periods of drought, decrease of snow cover;
• increased frequency of extreme weather events and weather contrast.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature and changing precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of biodiversity to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
The impact of climate change on biodiversity in Latvia is currently difficult to assess due to insufficient data. It is necessary to intensify research on new species in Latvia, to monitor invasive and aggressive alien species, as well as those species that are on the border of the distribution area in Latvia. It is also important to intensify the monitoring of plant pests, which are characteristic of warmer climate regions, as they can have a direct impact on biodiversity. The decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services as a result of climate change and anthropogenic interactions poses a threat to the preservation and sustainable development of Latvia's natural capital.

In order to obtain detailed and scientifically substantiated information on Latvia's natural values, their quantity, types, distribution and quality, the project "Nature Census" identified the distribution and quality of specially protected habitats of EU importance, analysed the basic information and prepared preconditions for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem protection.

Biodiversity is also affected by landscape simplification (monocultures - continuous forest plantations with one type of species, agricultural lands with large areas of continuous crops). Ecosystems become less stable, contributing to the spread of invasive or alien species and pests. The more diverse the ecosystem, the more stable it is and the ability to adapt more quickly to climate change and can provide a wider range of ecosystem services.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that biodiversity is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately, but can cause serious damage to the biodiversity and eco systems if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of biodiversity to key hazards is likely to increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, buildings in Latvia are exposed to different climate change impacts, especially related to temperature, wind and water.

In Latvia, several impacts of climate change (including extreme climate events) are important for buildings:
• Increase in average annual air temperature, increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves, extension of the meteorological summer, increase in the maximum value of the daily maximum temperature.
• Decrease of the frost days and the number of days without thaw.
• Increase in precipitation and increase in the maximum amount of precipitation per day, increase in the number of days with very heavy precipitation, increase in the maximum amount of precipitation per five days, increase in snowfall above normal.
• Long-term average sea level rise and development of coastal erosion, as well as groundwater level fluctuations affected by changes in precipitation and sea level, and changes in river run-off patterns.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessments, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature, water level rising, changing wind and precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of buildings to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
In the context of climate change, the following risks are expected to be associated with the highest probability of occurrence and the most significant consequences:
• increase in damage caused by floods to coastal buildings and towns along river estuaries.
• increase in electricity demand in summer.
• decrease in energy demand in winter and indoor overheating in summer.

According to risk and vulnerability assessments climate change risks to construction sector in Latvia have the following consequences: damage to buildings on the sea coast and estuaries (due to coastal erosion and flooding); damage to buildings in estuaries; the need for repair of buildings or irreparable damage; declining value of buildings and increase of insurance prices; damage to buildings in cities with insufficient sewerage capacity, damage to buildings in floodplains of waterways; damage to building structures (increased microcracking due to load, moisture damage); roof collapse; mould; the threat to the stability of the structures of buildings and their foundations (the greatest threat is to old buildings, the stability and waterproofing of the foundations); increase in demand for indoor cooling; investments for installation of room cooling and ventilation; increase in electricity consumption and costs in summer etc.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that buildings is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately but can cause serious damage to the buildings if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of buildings to key hazards is likely to increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, civil protection and emergency management is exposed to different climate change impacts: changing temperature, heat waves, drought, heavy precipitation, flood, changing participation patterns, and especially extreme weather events.

In Latvia, the following impacts of climate change and extreme weather events are the most important for civil protection and disaster management planning:
• Increase in the number of summer days, tropical nights, duration and frequency of heat waves, continuous increase in the frequency and duration of droughts.
• Increase in maximum wind gusts.
• Increase in the number of days with very heavy precipitation, an increase in the maximum daily precipitation and a decrease in the amount of annual precipitation in the form of snow.
• Sea level rise, change of river runoff regime from the current peak in spring to high runoff also in autumn facilitated by the changes on the amount of precipitation, drought in summer.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature, changing precipitation patterns and weather extremes), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of to civil protection to key hazards are likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
Risks caused by climate change in civil protection and disaster management planning, which have a relatively very high or high level of probability and the most negative consequences in Latvia are:
• Forest and peat bog fires - risks with medium consequences currently, but with a very high probability will increase in the future.
• storms and storm surges - risks with severe consequences that may increase in the future (medium probability). The analysis of long-term trends shows very significant declining trends in the number of stormy days in most parts of Latvia. At the same time, we need to take into account overall trends of increase of frequency and recurrence of extreme events over time (IPCC, 2014);
• Heavy rainfall and floods caused by it - risks with relatively lower consequences, which will increase (high probability).
• Floods caused by spring floods and ice jams - risks with relatively lower consequences and a medium probability of occurrence, however, this risk is expected to decrease over time in both the probability of occurrence and the consequences.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that civil protection is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately but can cause serious damage to civil protection if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of civil protection to key hazards is likely to increase, especially due to weather extremes.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The impact of climate change is observed in the Baltic Sea and its coastal areas. Changes in temperature, wind, and precipitation patterns as well as changes in extreme climatic events affect not only the sea, but the coastal erosion processes as well. For example, due to the increase in air temperature, the maximum ice cover area, and the duration of the ice season in the Baltic Sea have decreased. With the ice cover area and the length of the ice season reducing, larger coastal areas are exposed to coastal erosion during the intense storm season (autumn-winter). This is exacerbated by rising sea levels as a result of climate change.

Coastal areas in Latvia are exposed to different climate change impacts, the most significantly:
• Rising sea level, costal erosion.
• Increase in maximum wind gusts on the seacoast, increase in the number of days with the maximum wind speed.
• Increase in the annual precipitation, continuous increase in the duration of the precipitation period, increase in the number of days with heavy and very heavy precipitation, increase in the maximum daily precipitation.
• Increase in the annual average air temperature, increase in the average air temperature in the winter season, increase in the minimum value of the daily maximum temperature, increase in the average air temperature in the summer months.
• Decrease in the number of frost days, increase in the number of days without thaws, decrease in the average number of days with snow cover, decrease in the average snow cover thickness in the winter months, shortening of the ice period.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessments, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature, water level rising, changing wind and precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of costal areas to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
The most significant climate change risk impacting costal areas in Latvia is coastal erosion that is increasing due to rising sea level, weather extremes and decreasing ice cover. As the ice cover area and the length of the ice season decreases, larger coastal areas are exposed to coastal erosion during the intense storm season. Damages caused by floods and storms to coastal buildings and towns along river estuaries is likely to increase.
Risk Future Impact
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, in future climate change impacts to coastal areas will increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, energy infrastructure in Latvia is exposed to different climate change impacts, especially related to snow level, wind, water, heat waves, temperature, draughts.

In Latvia, several impacts of climate change (including extreme climate events) are important for energy:
• Increase in average annual air temperature, increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves that can impact energy demand and impact grid infrastructure.
• Decrease of snow level in winters, increase of maximum value of the daily maximum temperature that can cause draughts and impact hydro energy infrastructure.
• Increase of extreme snowing, snow storms that can impact grid infrastructure.
• Increase of extreme wind and storm says that can impact grid infrastructure and can impact wind energy infrastructure.
• Increase in precipitation and increase in the maximum amount of precipitation per day etc that can cause the damage to above ground and underground grid infrastructure (electricity and heating).
• Groundwater level fluctuations and changes in river run-off patterns that can impact grid infrastructure and hydro energy infrastructure.
• Increase of sunshine days can positively impact solar energy production.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessments, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to wind,, draughts, air temperature, river flow decreasing, changing wind and precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of energy infrastructure to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
In the context of climate change, the following risks are expected to be associated with the highest probability of occurrence and the most significant consequences:
• increase in damage caused by strong winds (storms, snowstorms), floods and draughts.
• increase in electricity demand in summer.
• damage to electrical grids due to the increase in wind gusts in certain regions of Latvia.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that energy infrastructure is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately but can cause serious damage to the buildings if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of buildings to key hazards is likely to increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments forestry is exposed to different climate change impacts: changing temperature, heat waves, drought, heavy precipitation, flood, changing participation patterns, extreme weather events.

More specifically, according to risk and vulnerability assessments, forestry is more exposed to:
• Increase in average temperature in winters and decrease in the duration of the meteorological winter, increase in the average summer temperature and an increase in the duration of the meteorological summer, an increase in the probability of more frequent and longer periods of drought in the summer; increase in the number of days with very high temperatures in summer.
• Increase in total annual precipitation, changes in the amount of precipitation in the summer months, increase in the probability of sudden and severe thunderstorms in summer.
• Greater uncertainty of snow cover thickness, decrease in the number of days with frozen soil, formation of air mass contact bands, creating suitable conditions for freezing rain; increase in wind gusts in some territories of Latvia.

The main impacts in forestry are the risk of the spread of tree diseases and pests, the risk of fires, the risk of storms and the lack of winter frost, which makes logging difficult. The possible increase in forest and peat bog fires due to heat waves must be taken into account. The risk of forest and peat fires has medium consequences that will increase in the future with a very high probability.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature and changing precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of forestry to key hazards are likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
Forestry is vulnerable to key hazards and the vulnerability is likely to increase. Forestry is exposed to risk of the spread of tree diseases and pests, the risk of fires, the risk of storms and the lack of winter frost, which makes logging difficult and can lead to economic losses. During heat waves forestry will likely experience the increase of forest and peat fires.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that forestry is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately, but can cause serious damage to the forests if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of forestry to key hazards is likely to increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments health and well-beeing is exposed to different climate change impacts: changing temperature, heat waves, flood and extreme weather events.

Impacts of climate change (including extreme ones) that are important for health and well-being in Latvia are the following:
• Increase in the average temperature, as a result of which the spring / summer / autumn seasons could be extended, while the duration of winter will decrease.
• Increase in the total annual amount of precipitation, increase in the frequency of heavy rains, increase in the water temperature of rivers, lakes and other water bodies.
• Increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature and weather extremes), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of health sector to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
The most significant risk factors with the comparatively highest level of risk and the highest probability of occurrence are “increased risk of heat stroke” and “risk of exacerbation of chronic diseases (cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc.) and possible increase in number of deaths”. Regarding risks to human health, the most negative impacts in the context of climate change are expected from the cardiovascular diseases.

In Latvia, impacts of climate change will potentially be felt most by vulnerable groups in society (families with young children, the elderly, people with chronic diseases (including physical and mental health problems), people with disabilities, poor and low-income people, people living in remote areas far from economically active regional centers, etc.).

Extreme weather events can also affect the health of people and households that are not at risk of poverty or social exclusivity. Impacts on health caused by the negative effects of climate change can affect the productivity of economically active household members, their ability to participate in the labour market.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall the evaluation shows that health sector is and will be affected by a set of risks. In future the exposure of health sector to key hazards is likely to increase.

Economic losses from cardiovascular diseases are projected to cost the most. Other health risks will pose less of a threat to personal health. An increase in heat strokes is expected to have an impact on life years lost. Concerning other risks evaluated, the highest costs are expected for respiratory diseases.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, tourism in Latvia is exposed to different climate change impacts, especially related to temperature, wind and water.

Climate change can influence the development of tourism in Latvia both as a deterrent and as a developing factor. Climate change can impact the visual quality, aesthetic, ecological, economic, scientific, historical and recreational value of landscapes, which in turn can change tourist behaviour and habits and affect the economy of a particular place, region or country.

Impacts of climate change, which in Latvia can significantly affect the tourism industry and landscape planning, are the following:
• Increase in the annual average air temperature, increase in the average air temperature in the winter season, increase in the minimum value of the daily maximum temperature, increase in the average air temperature in the summer months.
• Decrease in the number of frost days, increase in the number of days without thaws, decrease in the average number of days with snow cover, decrease in the average snow cover thickness in the winter months, shortening of the ice period, increase in the number of summer days, increase in the number of tropical nights.
• Increase in the number of days of the vegetation period.
• Increase in the annual precipitation, continuous increase in the duration of the precipitation period, increase in the number of days with heavy and very heavy precipitation, increase in the maximum daily precipitation.
• Increase in maximum wind gusts on the sea coast, increase in the number of days with the maximum wind speed.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessments, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature, water level rising, changing wind and precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of tourism to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
Risk and vulnerability assessments have shown that the risks posed by climate change for tourism in Latvia are: the risk of changing the length and characteristics of the winter tourism season; flood risk (rising water levels in rivers and lakes); risk of flooding and coastal erosion of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga, risk of changes of the length of the summer tourist season.

The identified risks for the tourism industry have the following consequences: shortening of the visibility period of winter landscapes; reduction of winter tourism (activities, events); increase in the cost for providing artificial snow; decrease in the number of winter tourists; losses for Latvian tourism entrepreneurs; degradation or destruction of forestry, agricultural, natural objects and urban landscape elements; degradation or destruction of natural and cultural-historical values; changes in the visual quality and value of the landscape; degradation or destruction of tourism infrastructure; a decrease or increase in the flow of tourists in the affected areas.
Risk Future Impact
high
According to climate change scenarios assessment, in future climate change impacts to tourism will increase.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
According to risk and vulnerability assessments, transport infrastructure in Latvia is exposed to different climate change impacts, especially related to temperature, wind and water.

In Latvia, several impacts of climate change (including extreme climate events) are important for transport infrastructure:
• Increase in average annual air temperature, increase in the frequency and duration of heat waves, extension of the meteorological summer, increase in the maximum value of the daily maximum temperature.
• Decrease of the frost days and the number of days without thaw.
• Increase in precipitation and increase in the maximum amount of precipitation per day, increase in the number of days with very heavy precipitation, increase in the maximum amount of precipitation per five days, increase in snowfall above normal.
• Long-term average sea level rise and development of coastal erosion, as well as groundwater level fluctuations affected by changes in precipitation and sea level, and changes in river run-off patterns.
Key hazard likelihood
high
According to climate change scenarios assessments, likelihood of key hazards (especially related to air temperature, water level rising, changing wind and precipitation patterns), is high. Most significant changes are related to extreme values of climate variables, indicating that in the future Latvia will more often face weather conditions uncharacteristic and extreme for its territory. Exposure of transport infrastructure to key hazards is likely to increase.
Vulnerability
high
In the context of climate change, the risk that is expected to be associated with the highest probability of occurrence and the most significant consequences is increase in damage caused by floods to infrastructure and roads along river estuaries. According to risk and vulnerability assessments climate change risks to infrastructure in Latvia have the following consequences: damage to infrastructure on the sea coast (due to coastal erosion and flooding); the need for repair of infrastructure or irreparable damage; declining value of infrastructure and increase of insurance prices; damage to infrastructure in cities with insufficient sewerage capacity, damage to infrastructure in floodplains of waterways; damage to infrastructure structures (increased microcracking due to load, moisture damage) etc.
Risk Future Impact
high
Overall, the evaluation shows that infrastructure is and will be affected by a set of risks that may not be evaluated as ‘very high’ separately but can cause serious damage to the infrastructure if a certain combination of risks occur. In future the exposure of buildings to key hazards is likely to increase.

Specifically, railway infrastructure is and will be affected by such risks as track bending, deterioration of materials, and embankment instability due to heat. These risks may cause such consequences as: damage to railway infrastructure; economic losses due to speed limitation; engine overheating; restrictions on the carriage of goods and passengers by rail.

Track bending has a significant socio-economic impact. Therefore, railway tracks should be regularly maintained (by reconstructing or by building new tracks) and the permitted train speed should be observed. Assessing the days of delays caused by track degradation, the annual delays in the period 2040 - 2070 is approximately 0.2 mln. euro with an increase of 0.1 mln. euro, and in the period 2070-2100 - 0.4 mln. euros with an increase of 0.3 mln. euro

Due to climate change, to avoid the possibility of passengers overheating there will be necessity to provide adequate ventilation in public transport as well as at bus stations. The availability of drinking water at bus and train stations will have to be provided.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Currently, there is no specific governance at national level regarding climate risk and vulnerability assessments.

According to Civil Protection and Catastrophe Management Law and its subordinate Cabinet of Ministers regulations the civil protection commissions of 42 municipal cooperation territories have to develop their own civil protection plans that includes indicated risks, scenarios, matrices, mapping, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures for each risk. Climate change related risks are mostly addressed in civil protection plans.

Flood risk management plans and early warning systems have been elaborated for all territories under significant flood risk.

Risk and vulnerability assessments were carried out by research institutions under NFI project with Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia (MEPRD) as project partner by the initiative of MEPRD.
Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia (MEPRD) is the responsible authority for the climate change policy in Latvia. MEPRD has the overall responsibility of the development of NAP. Responsible authorities for implementation of adaptation measures also include Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Science and other ministries and other ministries. The task of each responsible ministry is to coordinate the activities of the NAP which belong to their area of work.

Risk assessment and prevention is increasingly taken into account in national planning, which links climate change risk assessment, prevention and adaptation and civil protection much more tightly. According to Civil Protection and Catastrophe Management Law and the relevant Cabinet of Ministers regulations the civil protection commissions of 42 municipal cooperation territories have to develop their own civil protection plans that includes indicated risks, scenarios, matrices, mapping, prevention, preparedness, response and recovery measures for each risk. Flood risk management plans have been elaborated for all territories that are under significant flood risk.

Latvia has developed a framework for adaptation monitoring system. The target of the climate change adaptation monitoring system is to evaluate climate change in Latvia, to collect and accumulate climate change impact indicators of the economic sectors and data describing adaptation capacity of these areas, as well as to promote the selection and improvement of appropriate adaptation measures. The collection of the adaptation indicators in sectors is in progress. Climate change monitoring data is publicly available in Climate Change Analysis Tool. The data base of climate change impact indicators is planned to be publicly available in 2021.

Latvia is currently developing Climate law, the will also strengthen the institutional framework for climate change monitoring.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the environmental policy instruments that covers whole spectrum of environmental field.

In 2018, Latvia amended its legislation on EIA to require evaluation of the impact of climate change on development projects.
The civil protection system, which includes risk assessment and prevention, disaster management of all natural extremes in all sectors and governmental levels is included in the Civil Protection and Catastrophe Management Law (2016) and in National Civil Protection Plan (2020). National Civil Protection Plan is based on risk assessments and includes references to NAP.

Disaster risk management and civil protection is one of the five strategic goals of NAP: ‘Human life, health and well-being, regardless of gender, age and social background, are protected from the adverse effects of climate change’. To achieve the goal there are planned measures to address both – human health and well-being, and civil protection.
In Latvia LEGMC maintains and manages the hydrometeorological warning system at the national level, providing operational warnings for the society and public and private entities in line with the Civil protection plan. Warning information is available at http://warnings.meteo.lv or meteorological warnings and http://hidro.meteo.lv for hydrological warnings.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

MEPRD actively collaborates with national authorities within different working groups. For example, MEPRD has established an expert group on adaptation and inter-institutional working group on adaptation. Both groups actively contributed to the development of the NAP. Experts from agencies, scientific institutions, planning regions, ministries, municipalities, business and NGOs participated in workshops and conferences regarding climate change scenarios, risk and vulnerability assessment, discussions on indicators and adaptation monitoring system, flood risk warning system, spatial and coastal zone planning. Publications and information with explanation of results and outcomes from projects and documents were published and promoted in media. Furthermore, a consistent exchange of information and experience is being practiced between planning regions and municipalities.
Planning regions and municipalities implement different projects, including projects regarding climate issues which promote the creation of networks that are used as platform for regular information exchange and sharing best practices.
Overall climate change adaptation priority of Latvia is to reduce vulnerability of people, economy, infrastructure, construction and environment to the impacts of climate change. To meet this aim, the NAP has more than 80 concrete adaptation measures and 5 Strategic goals to address climate change risks:
• Human life, health and wellbeing are protected from the adverse effects of climate change
• The economy is capable to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and is able to use the opportunities offered by climate change
• Infrastructure and construction are climate-resilient and planned according to potential climate risks
• Latvia's nature, cultural and historical values have been preserved and the negative impact of climate change has been minimized
• Providing information based on scientific reasoning, to facilitate the integration of climate change adaptation aspects into sectoral policies and spatial development planning.
Decision-making process on climate change adaptation requires comparatively larger administrative capacity and coordination of action among various different stakeholders (governmental, scientific institutions, local authorities, different enterprises among others). Data collections process still needs to be improved in Latvia, which MEPRD will address when improving institutional framework for adaptation. Another challenge is to involve private sector – not only public, but also private actors should implement adaptation measures, because individuals are often confronted with climate change risks. The incentives are often not sufficient to reach the desired level of adaptation. One of the most significant barriers is the available financing to adaptation measures.
• Latvian National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030 (NAP)

Priority of NAP is to reduce vulnerability of people, economy, infrastructure, construction and environment to the impacts of climate change and to promote the use of opportunities created by climate change. To meet this aim, the NAP has more than 80 concrete adaptation measures and 5 Strategic goals to address climate change risks.

• National Development plan 2021 – 2027

One of the measures of National Development plan is: Mitigation of climate change effects through adaptation measures, and improved material and infrastructure provision (for prevention and management of disaster risks, including flood and coastal erosion), as well as in the management of economic sectors and sustainable stormwater management, taking into account the latest scientific data and forecasts for achieving and strengthening climate resilience”.

• Guidelines of long-term development programs for local governments

The guidelines recommended to include climate change policy in the municipal development programs.

• Environmental Policy Guidelines for 2014 – 2020 (to be updated in 2021)

One of the general policy goals is to enhance Latvia's readiness to adapt to climate change and its effects.

• Flood risk management plans for 2016-2021

Impacts and risks of climate change are reflected in flood risk plans.

• National long-term Maritime Spatial Plan 2030 (approved in 2019)

MSP defines the use of the sea, considering a terrestrial part that is functionally interlinked with the sea and co-ordinating interests of various sectors and local governments in use of the sea. The MSP covers internal sea waters, territorial sea and exclusive economic zone. Trends in impacts of climate change and potential risks are included.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported


In Latvia several municipalities/cities have developed their climate change adaptation strategies on a voluntary basis. Within Covenant of Mayors, 23 municipalities/cities have committed to develop Sustainable Energy (and Climate) Action Plan (SECAP). Action plan describes the steps towards its 2020 or 2030 targets. Part of municipalities have developed their climate change adaptation strategies or included climate change adaptation parts in SECAPs or development programs. The main task for local governments is to assess which climate change risks are already causing and in the future will cause the greatest threat to the residents of the region, entrepreneurs and infrastructure.
Latvia actively works on integrating climate change adaptation into sectoral policies, plans and programs, for example, references to NAP are included in ‘Strategy of Latvia for the Achievement of Climate Neutrality by 2050’, ‘Latvia’s National Energy and Climate Plan 2021–2030’, ‘National Development plan 2021 – 2027’, ‘Latvian National Plan of Civil Protection’ etc. Latvia is working on ‘Environmental policy guidelines 2021 – 2027’, where climate change adaptation aspects will be included.

MEPRD has established an expert group on adaptation and inter-institutional working group on adaptation. Both groups actively contributed to the development of the NAP. Experts from agencies, scientific institutions, ministries, municipalities, business and NGOs participated in workshops and conferences regarding climate change scenarios, risk and vulnerability assessment, discussions on indicators and adaptation monitoring system, flood risk warning system, spatial and coastal zone planning. Publications and information with explanation of results and outcomes from projects and documents were published and promoted in media.

In the education system of primary and secondary schools in Latvia, environmental science is mainly run as an interdisciplinary theme and is integrated within the content of various courses as biology, geography, chemistry, physics, natural science and physics. New disciplines’ standard projects foreseethat environmental science and sustainable development issues are included in school studies.

Environmental Policy Guidelines for 2014 – 2020 pays significant attention to education, training and public awareness issues. Improving the environmental education system at all levels and increasing of public involvement in solving environmental issues at national and local municipality levels has been highlighted as one of the priority horizontal issues. Guidelines indicate that information on and adaptation does not correspond to the specific interests and needs of different groups of society, therefore one of the priority measures is to inform and educate public on climate change and adaptation.
The most vulnerable stakeholders are elderly people, children, people with special needs, people employed in agriculture, forestry, tourism, people living on the coastal areas and flood risk areas.

Measures addressing vulnerable stakeholders:

Almost all 80 adaptation measures in NAP addresses vulnerable stakeholders, for example, one of NAP’s strategic goals is ‘Human life, health and well-being, regardless of gender, age and social background, are protected from the adverse effects of climate change’. This goal includes measures like improvement of early warning system (especially on weather extremes), access to free drinking water in public places, awareness rising among educational and social care institutions, development of recommendations for social care institutions and social workers on health prevention measures during heat waves etc.

During developing NAP the engaging and cooperation with relevant stakeholders, including sectoral authorities, interest groups, NGOs or representatives from the private sector, was active. Since NAP is adopted by Cabinet of Ministers, the cooperation with stakeholders is more in form of informing, consulting, exchanging information, integrating climate change adaptation issues in policy planning documents. The relevant departments of MEPRD and responsible authorities of vulnerable sectors are informed about adaptation measures defined in NAP. MEPRD is working on enhancing the available information on climate change and climate change adaptation for stakeholders.
Private sector was involved during developing risk assessments, but adaptation measures of climate change adaptation plan are not directly addressed to private sector (the ministries are responsible authorities for implementation of adaptation measures). There are no legal requirements for private sector to implement measures to adapt to climate change, but private sector will benefit from implementing adaptation measures, because of avoided costs.
According to NAP, the monitoring of climate change and climate change adaptation system consists of two parts. The first is based on an climate change analysis, while the second is based on a sectoral vulnerability assessment:
1. Climate change monitoring (provided by the LEGMC) is carried out by summarizing and analysing selected meteorological parameters and climate indexes, their changes over time and trends.
2. The climate change impact monitoring database maintains the selected climate change impact indicators, in order to monitor sector's vulnerability to observed climate change.

The climate change impact monitoring database still needs to be updated with indicators, so it is not publicly available yet.

Evaluation of the implementation of NAP is planned in the midterm and at the end. Coordination Meanwhile MEPRD is coordinating with responsible authorities and developing system to collect and publish information about implemented adaptation measures (implemented by local governments, institutions, ministries, private sector etc).
MEPRD has the overall responsibility of the development of NAP and coordination of implementation of NAP. Responsible authorities for implementation also include Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Welfare, Ministry of Economics, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education and Science and other ministries. The task of each responsible ministry is to coordinate the activities of the NAP which belong to their area of responsibility.
Latvian National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030 (NAP) is a long-term planning document and does not include cost evaluation of adaptation measures. Evaluation of implementation of adaptation measures of NAP is planned in the midterm and at the end.

To implement adaptation measures, Latvia uses a broad range of financial possibilities: state and municipality funding, EU funding (ERDF, ESF, CF, EAFRD, EMFF, Life, Horizon 2020 programme), the European Economic Area (EEA) and the Norway Financial mechanism (also for the period 2014-2021), State budget financing through certain funds, e.g. Latvian Environmental Protection Fund (LEPF), Latvian Environmental Investment Fund (LEIF) and Rural Support Service.

We are currently planning measures with regards to the EU funds for 2021-2027, Recovery and Resilience Facility and they will include also measures for climate change adaptation. However, at this stage as the plans have not yet been adopted, more specific information cannot be provided.

Within the framework of the European Union structural and investment funds (ESI funds) 2021-2027, activities aimed at adaptation to climate changes are planned. The activities planned are in accordance with the National Development Plan for 2021-2027. Investments will be targeted at the reducing of the risks of floods, coastal erosion, as well as other measures envisaged in local climate adaptation strategies (part of municipal development programs). The use of "green and blue” solutions will be encouraged in the implementation of the activities, as they can help to reduce the "heat island" effect, reduce flood, coastal erosion and other risks and impacts of the climate change. These ERDF investments will sum up to 93.53 mln. euro.

Taking into account current and future disasters, their frequency and consequences, improving disaster management (prevention, preparedness, responsiveness) activities are also planned. This would include the support for the development of the capacity and responsiveness of rescue services (ERDF funding up to 55,24 mln. euro) and the extension of environmental monitoring network (total ERDF investments in monitoring up to 6,47 mln. euro).

In addition, it is planned that the European Recovery and Resilience fund (RRF) would include activities for the climate changes adaptation, risk prevention and disaster resilience. RRF investments are planned to strengthen the capacity of rescue services (especially modernization of the infrastructure and fleet of the rescue services), improvement of flood risk mitigation infrastructure (incl. the renovation of polder pumping stations, restoration of protective dams, restoration of regulated sections of potomal rivers) and investments in forest sustainability (incl. replacement of unproductive forest stands, afforestation, care of young stands). Investments are planned in amount of 91,575 mln euro.

In general, within the framework of both investment mechanisms, all activities are planned to be implemented in accordance with the DNSH (do no significant harm) principle, where one of the assessment criteria is also adaptation to climate change.

Notwithstanding the above, important measures to mitigate climate change will continue in the upcoming years within the framework of ESI funds 2014 - 2020. Until 2023, six flood and coastal erosion projects will be finished. The total ERFD costs of these projects will reach 18.44 mln. euro.
This information is not currently available.
To reduce climate change impacts and risks, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia (MEPRD) as the responsible authority for the climate change adaptation policy in Latvia has developed Latvian National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030 (NAP) with more than 80 adaptation measures. Ministries that are responsible for the implementation are:

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Culture in coordination with local governments and institutions.

Evaluation of implementation of adaptation measures of NAP is planned in the midterm and at the end:

The midterm evaluation report of implementation is to be prepared and submitted to Cabinet of Ministers by 31 December 2026 (information about period 2020-2025). The final report – by 31 December 2031 (information about period 2026-2030).

To reduce climate change impacts, Latvia integrates climate objectives in various policy planning documents and guidelines. For example, guidelines of long-term development programs for local governments, National Plan for Civil Protection, Operational Programme of Latvia for 2021 to 2027. References to NAP are included in ‘Strategy of Latvia for the Achievement of Climate Neutrality by 2050’, ‘Latvia’s National Energy and Climate Plan 2021–2030’, ‘National Development plan 2021 – 2027’ etc. Latvia is working ‘Environmental policy guidelines 2021 – 2027’, where climate change adaptation aspects will be included. Evaluation of progress also is applicable to plans and strategies mentioned above.
Detailed evaluation of progress towards increasing adaptive capacity is planned to be included in midterm evaluation report of NAP. Detailed information on this item is not available in 2021.
Detailed evaluation of progress towards meeting the adaptation priorities is planned to be included in midterm evaluation report of NAP. Detailed information on this item is not available in 2021.
To address barriers to adaptation, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia (MEPRD) supports and is involved in projects and programs.
Risk and vulnerability assessments on primary and secondary impacts of climate change have been carried out in 2017. The update of assessments is not planned yet.
Evaluation of implementation of adaptation measures of NAP is planned in the midterm and at the end:

The midterm evaluation report of implementation is to be prepared and submitted to Cabinet of Ministers by 31 December 2026 (information about period 2020-2025). The final report – by 31 December 2031 (information about period 2026-2030). Review of NAP is not planned jet.
Evaluation of implementation of adaptation measures of NAP is planned in the midterm and at the end:

The midterm evaluation report of implementation is to be prepared and submitted to Cabinet of Ministers by 31 December 2026 (information about period 2020-2025). The final report – by 31 December 2031 (information about period 2026-2030). Review of NAP is not planned jet.

Good practices and lessons learnt

At sub-national level local governments integrate adaptation objectives in various infrastructure projects with a particular focus on flood risk management and coastal erosion solutions. Latvia participates in LIFE Adaptate project that aims to increase the commitment of European municipalities with the Covenant of Mayors. In LIFE Adaptate project several energy and climate plans for cities have been developed, and the pilot city Smiltene has accomplished adaptation project that was essential to it. Latvia also participates in LIFE Local Adapt project etc.
The strategic goals and adaptation measures of Latvian National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030 are in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sustainable Development Goals and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Latvia is a member of IPCC, WMO, EUMETSAT, NORDMET, ECMWF, HELCOM. Cooperation to share information and to strengthen science, institutions and adaptive knowledge mostly is implemented though participation in scientific organizations and projects. In addition. Latvian active parties participate as project partners in EU Horizon 2020 programme projects, LIFE 2014-2020 programme sub-programme Action Climate and Interreg programs’ projects where both environmental quality ad climate change are tackled form aspects of environmental and urban environmental quality as well as climate change adaptation.
To enhance adaptation action an international cooperation is mostly related to international initiatives, programmes and projects, such as “Integration of climate change adaptation into the work of local authorities”/ LIFE LOCAL ADAPT (LIFE15 CCA/DE/000133), “Common methodology for the development of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans”/LIFE Adaptate (LIFE16 CCA/ES/000049). Norwegian Financial Instrument (NFI) pre-defined project (PDP) “Integration of climate change policy into sectoral and regional policies” is under implementation, where climate change adaption related activities are included.

Currently, Latvian municipalities are being active taking part in the initiative “Covenant of Mayors Europe” activities. Twenty-five Latvian municipalities as members should be talking on a forefront action and develop their Sustainable energy and climate change strategies (SECAP), which would be preconditional action to fulfil requirements in order to develop their climate change action plans in 2021. At the moment, several municipalities have developed the adaption plans by 2030.

Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of Latvia

Climate Change Department
Climate Change adaptation policy
Inese Pommere-Bramane
Expert

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'