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Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe. Enhancing coherence of the knowledge base, policies and practices


The report assesses current practices and level of know-how, and highlights emerging innovative tools national, regional and local authorities are using to tackle the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards.

At global, European and national level there is an emerging need to enhance coherence between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) by taking account of their similar objectives and differences, therefore contributing to better preparedness and response to disasters, and also to sustainable development. Common objectives are related to management of climate (variability and change) risks and building of climate-resilient societies. Based on a review of the current practices the report suggests that, although innovative examples exist, the full potential of a better integration of DRR and CCA has yet to be exploited.

Along with the increase in frequency and/or intensity of weather- and climate-related natural hazards also socio-economic changes and hazard exposure are increasing in damage and economic losses. For this reason, the European society and policymakers have to understand the role of climate change in driving extreme weather, and also the interactions and interdependencies of extreme weather and climate events with other natural phenomena and human activities. The report focuses on past and projected impacts, with a review of the existing loss data systems in Europe and elsewhere, and a summary of the work developed by the UN's OIEWG on the indicators of progress of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).

The report considers six case studies, representatives for the coherence between CCA and DRR practices. Key messages are the followings:

  • A programmatic approach, initiated from the top down, executed from the bottom up, and supported by adequate funding and a long-term strategy, can deliver effective CCA and DRR integration.
  • Insurers are key players in CCA and DRR in different ways.
  • The combination of national agenda setting and local implementation and integration results in an effective execution of CCA and DRR strategies.
  • National Risk Assessments (NRAs) can serve as an effective base for CCA and DRR, since they provide a broader risk picture and give indications for tolerance thresholds.
  • Networks are key in motivating cities and in supporting capacity building for climate change policy. Existing differences in institutional, cultural and economic settings must not be ignored.

Reference information

European Environment Agency
European Environment Agency

Published in Climate-ADAPT Oct 17 2017   -   Last Modified in Climate-ADAPT Dec 06 2022

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