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Study of Adaptation Activities at Regional Level in the EU (2013)


The objective of this study is to explore the role and relevance of the regional level to climate change adaptation in EU Member States. Regions can play an important role and are, in some cases, the most appropriate level of governance to address climate change.
Research on climate change adaptation in each of the 28 EU Member States has been carried out for this study, consisting of desk research and contacts with key experts and authorities and a review of the current status of adaptation planning and action at the regional level. It summarises key findings on regional adaptation and reviews the role and relevance of the regional level in climate change adaptation for each of the 28 EU Member States. Detailed results are recorded in the set of Member State matrices contained in Annex 1. Overall in the EU28, in countries where regions have competence for some combination of environmental policy, spatial planning or implementation of adaptation measures, the current extent of progress on adaptation varies considerably.
The extent of progress on adaptation in regions is dependent upon many factors. Some factors - such as legal obligations or evidence of climate change impacts (e.g. a flood) -  drive adaptation action. Others, such as low awareness or lack of funds, are obstacles. The report discusses some of these factors, based upon a review of literature and interviews with officials and experts in the Member States.

The report also includes a section on good practices in adaptation at the regional level, including transboundary activities that could be shared among policy makers across the EU Member States and regions.

In most Member States, regions are a critical interface between the national and local levels of governance and have a role in both strategic planning and concrete implementation of measures.
Recommendations are given for political, financial and technical support for progress on adaptation at regional leve to build resilience across the EU and ensure long-term development that is compatible with the impacts of a changing climate.

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