EEA: Making Europe's Cities Climate-Ready

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_EEA: Making Europe's Cities Climate-Ready
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The European Environment Agency (EEA) report, "Urban adaptation in Europe," underlines the pressing need for European cities to adjust to climate change.

It offers a summary of the actions these cities are taking. The report acts as a valuable resource to support climate adaptation policies across Europe, from the European Union level all the way down to city governments.

With European cities experiencing the effects of climate change more and more, like heat waves and floods, the EEA report argues there is a clear need to invest in making these cities more resilient. The report says that cities play a crucial role in putting adaptation plans into action, considering local conditions and specific weaknesses.

Cities across Europe are adapting to climate change through various effective measures, including urban planning and building regulations, economic incentives and insurance, early warning systems, and public information campaigns. New promising areas for adaptation include promoting urban farming, creating more pleasant public spaces, and safeguarding cultural heritage.

The report also found that an impressive 91% of local adaptation plans analysed incorporated nature-based solutions. These solutions are effective for cooling cities down and retaining water, while also offering many other advantages, such as creating recreational spaces and reducing pollution. However, due to the severity of expected climate impacts, the EEA report suggests that it might still be necessary to combine nature-based approaches with other types of actions, including improvements to physical infrastructure.

The EEA report highlights several factors that enable successful adaptation. These include ongoing political commitment, which often goes hand-in-hand with sufficient long-term funding, good governance, involving residents, learning from other cities, and making decisions based on knowledge.

According to the report, it is necessary to adapt to the effects of climate change across all sectors and at all levels of government. Also, actions must be taken to address both the current effects of climate change and protect against even greater risks in the future.

Moreover, the report highlights that to properly implement actions at the local level, it is crucial to have more concrete targets to measure progress. Currently, only 2% of indicators used for monitoring in local adaptation plans are connected to a specific adaptation target.

In March, the European Environment Agency (EEA) published the first-ever European climate risk assessment, which revealed that Europe's current policies and adaptation measures are not keeping up with the rapidly increasing climate threats. It highlights that densely populated urban areas are particularly vulnerable to heat waves and extreme precipitation.

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Source: EEA

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