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Europe adapts to climate change: Comparing National Adaptation Strategies

Biesbroek, G. Robbert; Swart, Rob J.; Carter, Timothy R.; Cowan, Caroline; Henrichs, Thomas; Mela, Hanna; Morecroft, Michael D.; Rey, Daniela. 2010 Europe adapts to climate change: Comparing National Adaptation Strategies. Global Environmental Change, 20. 440-450. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.03.005

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Abstract/Summary

For the last two decades, European climate policy has focused almost exclusively on mitigation of climate change. It was only well after the turn of the century, with impacts of climate change increasingly being observed, that adaptation was added to the policy agenda and EU Member States started to develop National Adaptation Strategies (NASs). This paper reviews seven National Adaptation Strategies that were either formally adopted or under development by Member States at the end of 2008. The strategies are analysed under the following six themes. Firstly, the factors motivating and facilitating the development of a national adaptation strategy. Secondly, the scientific and technical support needed for the development and implementation of such a strategy. Thirdly, the role of the strategy in information, communication and awareness-raising of the adaptation issue. Fourthly, new or existing forms of multi-level governance to implement the proposed actions. Fifthly, how the strategy addresses integration and coordination with other policy domains. Finally, how the strategy suggests the implementation and how the strategy is evaluated. The paper notes that the role of National Adaptation Strategies in the wider governance of adaptation differs between countries but clearly benchmarks a new political commitment to adaptation at national policy levels. However, we also find that in most cases approaches for implementing and evaluating the strategies are yet to be defined. The paper concludes that even though the strategies show great resemblance in terms of topics, methods and approaches, there are many institutional challenges, including multi-level governance and policy integration issues, which can act as considerable barriers in future policy implementation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2010.03.005
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity > BD - 1.3 - Long-term/large-scale monitoring and experiments ...
CEH Sections: Pywell
ISSN: 0959-3780
Additional Keywords: climate change, adaptation, National Adaptation Strategies, Europe, governance
Date made live: 16 Aug 2010 11:04
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/9836

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