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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

According to a report published in 2016 by the EEA, Luxembourg is part of the biogeographical “Continental Region” area as defined under the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention). The threats identified for this peculiar region are:

- increase in heat extremes
- decrease in summer precipitation
- increasing risks of river floods
- increasing risk of forest fire
- decrease in economic value of forests
- increase in energy demand for cooling.

In the National Adaptation strategy, these threats have all been identified as relevant for Luxembourg.
At the beginning of 2020, the population of Luxembourg amounted to 626.100 inhabitants. 21.3% of the population was under 20 years old and 14.5% more than 65 years old.

The average annual growth rate of the resident population of Luxembourg is high compared to the rates of its neighbouring regions. Demographic growth in Luxembourg is dominated by immigration and at the end of 2020, 47.4% of the residential population did not have the citizenship of Luxembourg. This percentage was only around 30% in 1990. The main driver behind these demographic trends is the economic restructuring and development of the country towards the tertiary sector coupled with attractive wages. According to different population projections derived from past statistical data, population forecasts is a continuation of the demographic trend in Luxembourg.
The economic cycle in Luxembourg follows that of other European countries, but the amplitude of the GDP variations is more pronounced. This is a common feature of small economies, open to the outside world, and therefore more vulnerable to external shocks.

The economic restructuring and development of the country towards the tertiary sector in the mid-1980s led to the following economic cycles since 1990:
- up to 1992, the continuation of the exceptional growth initiated around 1985
- the effects of the economic slowdown in Luxembourg during the period between 1992 and 1996 and the economic downturn in 2001 – as well as the less impressive growth in 2002-2004 – which is mirrored by a stagnation of the GDP level per inhabitant in Luxembourg in comparison with the EU-15
- the good economic performance of Luxembourg between 2005 and 2008
- the financial and economic crisis that started end 2008 and that has been particularly pronounced in the first semester of 2009
- from 2010 onwards, a very slow recovery could be observed, though it flattened quickly for the industry and commercial sectors

Nowadays, gross value added is mainly generated in the financial intermediation (banking and insurances), real estate and services to business sector. It is therefore obvious that the financial sector has been the principal engine driving the economy for almost three decades. Luxembourg is a global leader in the investment fund industry as well as the Euro area's private banking centre.

Reporting updated until: 2021-01-01

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
Meteorological observations
  • Established
  • Established
Climate projections and services
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
The data used for the NAS and NAP are based on climate projections using numerical models. Data are based on the results of regional climate models (RCM) from the EU FP6 Ensemble project. The RCMs were powered by various global climate models. The horizontal resolution of the RCMs is 25 km. The result fields of the RCMs were bias-corrected (quantile mapping) to reduce systematic errors. There are transient time series for air temperature and precipitation. In addition, a spatially high-resolution climate projection (1.3 km), which is also based on the A1B emission scenario and was calculated using the COSMO-CLM model, is used. This work was done by the Luxembourgish Institute for Science and Technology (LIST).

Future projections predict on the one hand an increase in average temperature. While the average temperature was 8.1 ° C for the reference period 1961 to 1990, it is expected to rise to 9.2 ° C for the period 2021 to 2050 and to 11.2° C for the period 2069 to 2098. There will also be an increase in summer days above 25 ° C and tropical nights above 20 ° C.

Future projections for annual precipitation indicate some stability. Average precipitation for the 1961 to 1990 reference period was 880 mm. Rainfall should be 862mm for the period 2021 to 2050 and 845mm for the period 2069 to 2098. Seasonal variations however are expected, with more rain in winter and less precipitation in summer. Added to this is an increase in heavy rain in summer is expected.
Considerable uncertainties remain with regard to climate monitoring and climate simulations. As gaps in the monitoring networks and measurement errors affect observation data as well as the models based on them, it is important to further extend existing monitoring networks (e.g. enhanced monitoring of low flows) in order to better track changes taking place and to improve their interpretation.

Impacts of extreme climatic events are not systematically monitored. Information on the amount of material and financial loss is only partially collected by some authorities. During environmental disasters, the Ministry of the Family sets up a Social Relief Commission ("Commission de secours sociaux demandés à la suite de catastrophes naturelles") to help victims. In the same way, the insurance commissioner has some information about the number of people compensated. However, not all affected people make use of the Social Relief Commission or the insurance companies. The information collected, therefore, only concerns the persons who contact these two different institutions.
The main future threats related to climate change are:

- increase in heat extremes
- decrease in summer precipitation
- increasing risks of river floods
- increasing risk of forest fire
- decrease in economic value of forests
- increase in energy demand for cooling.

The full content of this box that is limited to 1000 characters is provided in an attached document General aspects.docx under the "Contact" section.

In Luxembourg, a thorough vulnerability assessment has not been done yet.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Heat wave
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Water scarcity
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Soil erosion
Future projections predict an increase in average temperature and some variability in precipitation.

While the average temperature was 8.1 ° C for the reference period 1961 to 1990, it is expected to rise to 9.2 ° C for the period 2021 to 2050 and to 11.2° C for the period 2069 to 2098. There will also be an increase in summer days above 25 ° C and tropical nights above 20 ° C. Future projections for annual precipitation indicate some stability. Average precipitation for the 1961 to 1990 reference period was 880 mm. Rainfall should be 862mm for the period 2021 to 2050 and 845mm for the period 2069 to 2098. Seasonal variations however are expected, with more rain in winter and less precipitation in summer. Added to this is an increase in heavy rain in summer is expected.

These changes are already visible and put pressure on different activities and on the environment, as for example:
- more severe and intense flash flood events in summer
- less groundwater recharge (pressure on drinking water distribution)
- drought events (impact on agriculture harvest, forests, pressure on drinking water distribution)
- Heat events (thermal stress)
- Increase in invasive alien species

Key affected sectors

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

Luxembourg has no thorough vulnerability assessment. Sector-based vulnerability assessments were completed through a water lens, with some cases (e.g. vegetation vulnerability) relying on models, such as used in the ENSEMBLES project. The 7th National Communication of Luxembourg to the UNFCCC also includes some vulnerability assessments focusing on human health, agriculture and forestry. Preliminary sectoral vulnerability analyses were completed for agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, drought, human health, infrastructure and economy on the basis of expert judgement. The vulnerability analysis for water and floods is more sophisticated and based on monitoring data and projections from the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Moselle and the Saar (ICPMS) . A more robust climate risk and vulnerability assessment is expected in updating the NAS. The four sectors prioritised in the 2011 NAS received most attention in the vulnerability and impact assessments led at national level by the observatory for climate and environment at the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology (LIST).
As indicated above, the NAS and NAP were adopted in 2018 and cover the period 2018-2023.

The climate law provides that no later than January 1, 2029, and every ten years thereafter, the Government will establish an adaptation strategy to the effects of climate change with a horizon of at least fifty. The adaptation strategy is then updated every five years, where applicable. The current adaptation strategy was approved in 2018, so before the publication of the climate law. The NAS and NAP will therefore be updated in accordance with the provisions of the climate law.

The Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development is in charge of coordinating measures and reviewing the SIN and NAP at the end of the period 2018-2023.
The current NAS and NAP have not been subject to an environmental assessment. For future plans and strategies or updates, it is nevertheless planned to carry out an environmental impact assessment in order to transparently and objectively identify, describe and assess significant environmental impacts.
In 2020, a national platform for disaster risk reduction was set up and an interministerial committee was set up under the chairmanship of the DRR focal point. The focal point in charge of implementing the NAS is also a member of this platform. Likewise, as part of the implementation of the NAS and NAP, each ministry has also designated a person responsible for inter-ministerial coordination. The DRR representative is nominated as the contact person for the NAS and NAP.

These mutual exchanges and these different interministerial platforms or joint ventures will further strengthen the synergies between the different frameworks.
All data or information collected in the context of the implementation of the adaptation strategy and plan will be accessible and publicly available.

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

Municipalities are nevertheless involved in climate mitigation and adaptation policy through a Climate Pact ("Klimapakt") between the State and the municipalities (https://www.pacteclimat.lu). All 102 communes of Luxembourg are engaged under the Climate Pact, the national level can financially support communes to implement mitigation, energy efficiency and adaptation measures. The Pact provides an appropriate platform for future engagement of the communes on climate adaptation. With the launch of the “Naturpakt”, municipalities will also have a catalogue of measures where at local level measures will help to tackle biodiversity and climate change issues.
The above-mentioned Climate Pact can be considered as a good practice example for local climate change adaptation initiative.

Furthermore, on water topics the water law created so-called river-partnerships and flooding-partnerships. These structures group together the municipalities according to the watersheds and have as objectives the implementation of measures included in the River Basin management plan and flood management plan. By implementing those measure, several adaptation measures are tackled at local level.

A similar structure is created with the nature law, so-called biological-stations. By implementing nature and biodiversity conservation measures, several adaptation measures are tackled at local level. With the launch of the “Naturpakt”, municipalities will have a catalogue of measures where at local level measures will help to tackle biodiversity and climate change issues.
Based on past observations and future projections of the effects of climate change, measures have been proposed for the main consequences. A total of 42 measures have been developed for 13 different sectors:

- Building and living
- Energy
- Infrastructures
- Crisis and disaster management
- Land-use planning
- Agriculture including herbal and animal health
- Human health
- Ecosystems and biodiversity
- Tourism
- Urban areas
- Water management
- Economy

For each measure is indicated a responsible entity for the implementation. Given the territorial organization of Luxembourg, there is no administrative level between the State and the communes. The NAS and the NAP is therefore valid for the entire Luxembourg territory. The measures are of a win-win nature or can be considered as low-regret measures. The implementation is planned for the period 2018-2023.
One of the main challenge is the lack of relevant data, particularly with regard to the local impact of climate change. Impacts of extreme climatic events are for example not systematically monitored. Information on the amount of material and financial loss is only partially collected by some authorities. During environmental disasters, the Ministry of the Family for example sets up a Social Relief Commission ("Commission de secours sociaux demandés à la suite de catastrophes naturelles") to help victims. In the same way, the insurance commissioner has some information about the number of people compensated. However, not all affected persons make use of the Social Relief Commission or the insurance companies. The information collected, therefore, only concerns the persons who contact these two different institutions. Consequently, as not all data is being kept (e.g., on casualties or financial losses).

In addition, the effects of climate change are not always immediately visible and perceptible, and above all, the benefits of adaptation measures to climate change have a long-term effect. However, the long term is less concrete for many actors (public, private and the population).
The NAS and NAP were developed based on past observations and future projections of the effects of climate change.

In order to set up measures an evaluation grid was establishes. By combining the probability of occurrence of the impact with the importance of this impact for Luxembourg, a total of 42 measures in 13 different sectors have been developed. The different sectors are:

- Building and living
- Energy
- Infrastructures
- Crisis and disaster management
- Land-use planning
- Agriculture including herbal and animal health
- Human health
- Ecosystems and biodiversity
- Tourism
- Urban areas
- Water management
- Economy

The measures are of a win-win nature or can be considered as low-regret measures. For each measure is indicated a responsible entity for the implementation. The measures identified in the NAP are not rigid, but offer a framework and provide various examples for implementing actions to deal with the expected impact. It is left to each entity to decide on the most relevant and urgent action. The philosophy and main objective of the NAS and that the notion of adaptation to climate change is gradually integrated into all policy areas.

The measures have not been budgeted and there is no separate budget solely for the implementation of the NAS and NAP. The implementation will have to be done within the framework of the current resources of the different Ministries and administrations. The implementation is planned for the period 2018-2023. The NAS and NAP will thereafter be updated in accordance with the provisions of the climate law.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported


Given the small size and the nature of the administrative organisation of Luxembourg, climate adaptation policy is entirely driven at national level. There is no self-governing sub-national level in Luxembourg and there is no sub-national strategy or plan. Municipalities are nevertheless involved in adaptation policy through a Climate Pact ("Klimapakt") between the State and the municipalities (https://www.pacteclimat.lu). All 102 communes of Luxembourg are engaged under the Climate Pact, and one of the measures in the new climate pact is to set up local adaptation strategies with adaptation goals. With the launch of the “Naturpakt”, municipalities will also have a catalogue of measures where at local level measures will help to tackle biodiversity and climate change issues.
As descripted in above, the NAS and NAP foresees 42 measures in 13 different sectors:

- Building and living
- Energy
- Infrastructures
- Crisis and disaster management
- Land-use planning
- Agriculture including herbal and animal health
- Human health
- Ecosystems and biodiversity
- Tourism
- Urban areas
- Water management
- Economy

Each of these sectoral policies has a dedicated chapter and dedicated measures. The philosophy and main objective of the NAS and that the notion of adaptation to climate change is gradually integrated into all policy areas.

Regarding DRR, a national platform for disaster risk reduction was set up and an interministerial committee was set up under the chairmanship of the DRR focal point. The focal point in charge of implementing the NAS is also a member of this platform. Likewise, as part of the implementation of the NAS and NAP, each ministry has also designated a person responsible for inter-ministerial coordination. The DRR representative is nominated as the contact person for the NAS and NAP. These mutual exchanges and these different interministerial platforms or joint ventures will further strengthen the synergies between the different frameworks.
Given the small size and the nature of the administrative organisation of Luxembourg, climate adaptation policy is entirely driven at national level. There is no self-governing sub-national level in Luxembourg and there is no sub-national strategy or plan. Municipalities are nevertheless involved in adaptation policy through a Climate Pact between the State and the municipalities (https://www.pacteclimat.lu). All 102 communes of Luxembourg are engaged under the Climate Pact, and one of the measures in the new climate pact is to set up local adaptation strategies with adaptation goals.
The above mentioned Pacte Climat at municipality level promotes citizen participation in climate change issues. Furthermore, there are some local-level organisations involved in the implementation of climate measures, as for example Klimabuendnis or EmweltBeroodungLëtzebuerg.

At national level, the development of the NAS was undertaken during several working group sessions to which the private sector participated (representatives from agriculture, citizens, NGOs, finance and industry sector).
MeteoLux, the national weather service in Luxembourg, a department of the Aviation Administration of the Minister for Mobility and Public Works, operates one meteorological synoptic station and one aeronautical meteorological station, both located at Luxembourg airport. Climate data is recorded by MeteoLux from the Administration de la Navigation Aérienne du Luxembourg, using data collection from the Findel/Airport meteorological station (WMO ID = 06590). The station has collected all relevant meteorological variables, such as air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, wind speed, wind direction and various radiation variables, since 1947. Further climate data is obtained through collaboration, as Luxembourg is a member of the European National Meteorological Services Network and the European Space Agency. In addition, Luxembourg has its own hydro-climatic monitoring network, with stations maintained by the Water Agency, the Civil Defence Service and the Agriculture Technical Services Administration. MeteoLux publishes monthly summaries of the weather, using as a reference period 1981-2010. Annual climate reports compare annual data to the 1961-1990 reference period and note “extremes and peculiarities”, such as the heat wave in Septeber 2020. The Climate Data Management System (CLiSys) has been implemented by MeteoLux since 2011, allowing the import of historical data and time series. This monitoring is used, for instance, to help inform the design of flood protection measures.
Each measure described in the NAP provides indicators for monitoring the progress of the implementation of the measure. These indicators will help to assess whether the measures have been implemented and will also identify difficulties in implementation.

In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP. The implementation is planned for the period 2018-2023. The NAS and NAP will thereafter be updated in accordance with the provisions of the climate law and new priorities will be set.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP.
In Luxembourg, a thorough vulnerability assessment has not been done yet.
In 2021, a consultation with the different involved Ministries will be undertaken to evaluate the current implementation status of the NAP. The implementation is planned for the period 2018-2023. The NAS and NAP will thereafter be updated in accordance with the provisions of the climate law and new priorities will be set.
Given the small size and the nature of the administrative organisation of Luxembourg, climate adaptation policy is entirely driven at national level.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported
Transboundary cooperation addresses common challenges with neighbouring countries (Belgium, France and Germany). Cooperation is mainly in the framework of the international bodies for the Rhine, Moselle, Sarre and Meuse river basins. As an example, Luxembourg took part in the development of the Adaptation Strategy for the Rhine Basin.

Moreover, within the framework of the BENELUX cooperation, working groups dedicated to climate change and transboundary impacts take place, in addition to the exercises simulating different scenarios. In 2021, new policy areas, such as water management and local adaptation management will also be topic at the Benelux cooperation.
Transboundary cooperation addresses common challenges with neighbouring countries (Belgium, France and Germany). Cooperation is mainly in the framework of the international bodies for the Rhine, Moselle, Sarre and Meuse river basins. As an example, Luxembourg took part in the development of the Adaptation Strategy for the Rhine Basin.

Moreover, within the framework of the BENELUX cooperation, working groups dedicated to climate change and transboundary impacts take place, in addition to the exercises simulating different scenarios. In 2021, new policy areas, such as water management and local adaptation management will also be topic at the Benelux cooperation.
Transboundary cooperation addresses common challenges with neighbouring countries (Belgium, France and Germany). Cooperation is mainly in the framework of the international bodies for the Rhine, Moselle, Sarre and Meuse river basins. As an example, Luxembourg took part in the development of the Adaptation Strategy for the Rhine Basin.

Moreover, within the framework of the BENELUX cooperation, working groups dedicated to climate change and transboundary impacts take place, in addition to the exercises simulating different scenarios. In 2021, new policy areas, such as water management and local adaptation management will also be topic at the Benelux cooperation.

Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development

Natural resource management
Establishing national adaptation plans & strategies, coordinating adaptation policies, reporting.
Bruno Alves
NRC CC Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation
[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.'