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Climate change: an European perspective. Andrus Meiner, EEA 1st International ASTRA Conference “ARE WE PREPARED TO COPE WITH CLIMATIC CHANGES? CONSEQUENCES OF THE WINTER STORM 2005” May 18-20, 2006 Klaipeda, Lithuania. Role of EEA in mitigation and policy adaptation strategies.

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climate change an european perspective

Climate change: an European perspective

Andrus Meiner, EEA

1st International ASTRA Conference

“ARE WE PREPARED TO COPE WITH CLIMATIC CHANGES?

CONSEQUENCES OF THE WINTER STORM 2005”

May 18-20, 2006 Klaipeda, Lithuania

role of eea in mitigation and policy adaptation strategies
Role of EEA in mitigation and policy adaptation strategies
  • The European Environment Agency is the EU body dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment in support to environmental policy makers and for the general public
  • EEA is publishing reports on GHG emission trends and mitigation, but recently on climate change impacts (2004, new 2008), vulnerability and adaptation (2005)
  • In 2006 EEA will report on state of environment of the coastal areas, that in limited scope also addresses the climate change issues (framing the issue)
air temperature
Air temperature
  • Globaltemperature: + 0.7 0.2 °C over past 100 years. Projected (1990–2100): + 1.4–5.8 °C
  • Top 5 warmest years worldwide: 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Europe: mean annual +0.95 °C; Summer +0.7°C ; Winter +1.1°C. Projected: + 2.0–6.3°C

Data-sources: IPCC, WMO, CRU

european summer temperature 2003
European summer temperature 2003
  • Very likely that greenhouse gases have doubled the risk of summer temperatures as hot as 2003
  • Such a heat wave is now four times more likely. By 2050 every other summer could be as hot as 2003

Data-sources: IPCC, WMO, CRU, Stott et. al. (in Nature, 2004)

slide5

Projected precipitation changes in 2080

  • Precipitation is projected to increase in northern Europe but decrease in southern Europe
  • More frequent droughts and intense precipitation events are likely

Data-source: Hadley Centre HadCM3 model, B2 scenario

slide6

Water resources

  • Temperature rise and changing precipitation are likely to exacerbate the water shortage in southern and south-eastern (increasing demand for irrigation in agriculture) and eastern Europe (increasing demand for households and industry)

Data source: Henrichs and Alcamo, 2001. Hadley Centre HadCM3 model, baseline scenario

vulnerable sectors
Vulnerable sectors
  • Ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Water resources, flooding, water quality
  • Coastal zones, marine resources, fisheries
  • Tourism
  • Energy (supply and demand)
  • Built environment, infrastructure
  • Human health
  • Land management, regional planning (cross-cutting)
vulnerable regions
Vulnerable regions
  • River flooding events 1998-2005
  • About 100 (river) floods: more than 700 fatalities, a million people affected and 25 billion EUR in insured economic losses
  • Coastal zones
  • Sea level is projected to rise for centuries (0.09-0.88 m from 1990 to 2100)
  • 9% of all European coastal zones are below 5 m elevation (85% for NL, BE), potentially vulnerable to sea level rise and related inundations
  • Coastal zone ecosystems are threatened
  • Future increase in storm frequency and intensity (uncertainties)

Data-source: EEA, 2006, unpublished

slide10

Coastal zones

  • Sea level is projected to rise for centuries (0.09-0.88 m from 1990 to 2100)
  • 9% of all European coastal zones are below 5 m elevation (85% for NL, BE), potentially vulnerable to sea level rise and related inundations
  • Coastal zone ecosystems are threatened
  • Future increase in storm frequency and intensity (uncertainties)

Data-source: EEA, 2006 (forthcoming)

slide11

Economic losses from weather related events

  • Costs of weather and climate related events double each decade
  • Since 1990, insured losses are on average $16 billion annually
  • 2004 was costliest: $40 billion.
  • Annual costs of European flooding could increase by €100-120 billion by the 2080s on top of the €6.5-8 billion paid today
slide12

Balancing mitigation and adaptation: “Avoiding the unmanageable, managing the unavoidable,”

  • EU Council target of limiting global temperature increase to +2°C above pre-industrial levels needs global emission reduction of 15% up to 50% by 2050 (from 1990 levels)
  • Some global and European climate change is inevitable due to historical built up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and time lags in climate and ocean systems
  • EU Council recognised the need to prepare for and adapt to climate change in both developing and developed countries, to complement mitigation policies
  • Addressing climate change has costs, but also brings benefits and opportunities e.g. for innovation
slide13

Substantial emission reductions are needed: 60 to 80% by 2050 (developed countries)

The EU target of max + 2 °C temperature increase requires at least stabilising at 550 ppm CO2–equivalent. Most likely a lower target is needed, for example of 450 ppm. That would mean a 80% emission reduction by 2050 for developed countries (from 1990 levels).

faster growth is needed to achieve the eu goal for electricity from renewable sources
Faster growth is needed to achieve the EU goal for electricity from renewable sources

EU indicative targetof 12% by 2010

Scenario projections

key eu domestic policies and measures to reduce ghg emissions
Key EU (domestic) policies and measures to reduce GHG emissions
  • EU CO2 emissions trading scheme
  • Electricity from renewable energy
  • Combined heat and power (CHP)
  • Energy efficiency (buildings, industry, household devices, cars)
  • Biofuels in transport
  • Recovery of methane from landfills
  • Reduction of fluorinated gases
  • Remove potentially environmentally harmful subsidies
  • Research and development
  • Raise awareness
conclusions on mitigation
Conclusions on mitigation
  • More efforts are required to reach the EU Kyoto target
  • Substantial further reductions in global GHG emissions are needed to achieve long term targets and avoid unacceptable impacts
  • Strong global action is needed, while the EU has to take its responsibility and continue taking a leading role
  • To succeed everyone has to contribute – governments, industries, private persons, researchers, NGOs, media
slide19

Adaptationstrategies at national level

  • National adaptation strategies are currently under preparation in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany and the UK
  • Adaptation measures are included in National Climate Change Action Plans of several countries
  • The latest Spatial Policy of the Netherlands recognises the need for adaptation to climate change in spatial planning
  • Several countries (e.g. Finland,Hungary,Portugal, the Netherlands, Spain,UK) are undertaking comprehensive multi-sector national assessments of climate change
  • In many EEA member countries (e.g., Austria, France, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland), adaptation measures are taking place in the context of natural hazard prevention, environment protection, and sustainable resource management
national adaptation strategies and local variations
National adaptation strategies and local variations
  • Assessments of regional and sector adaptation needs still rare
  • More local variations and higher relevance to regional and local conditions is needed, because this is where practical management is happening
slide21

EU policydevelopments, adaptation

  • Many EU policies, including environmental, do not yet address climate change impacts
  • Commission communication on post-2012 (Feb. 2005) and Environment Councils (2005) mentioned adaptation, complementary to mitigation
  • Commission Communication (2004) on an EU framework on flood risk mapping. Proposed Floods Directive in 2005
  • ECCP II started in October 2005, including a working group on adaptation, 10 sectoral/issue meetings April-June 2006, Green Paper in Nov 2006
slide22

Social deprivation (national definitions)

Living by the sea

Very different and unequal situations in socio-economic terms

Expected climate changes pose a real challenge to the population at sea to adapt, especially to sea level rise

focus coastal systems
Focus: Coastal systems
  • Coastal zones comprise both sea and land side
    • sea/land interface
    • catchment-coastal continuum
    • natural flows along the coasts
  • Regarding marine and coastal areas most of climate change research is addressing SLR and SST changes and their impacts
slide24
What impacts can climate change have on the coastal system given the existing anthropogenic pressures to the coasts?

Often a region or sector is already under pressure today

slide25

25

Built up in the distance of the coast

Atlantic

by Regional Sea Basins

Baltic

Black Sea

20

Mediterranean

North Sea

15

% of built up

10

5

0

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

Distance to the coast (Km)

historic land use change and impact on coastal system
Historic land use change and impact on coastal system
  • Wide conversion of forest and grassland to agricultural area in 19th and 20th century
  • This land use change was accompanied by massive soilerosion
  • But development of river dams and abstraction of water has reduced sediment discharges to the coast
    • On a global scale, some 25 % of the current sediment load from land to the coastal zones is trapped behind reservoirs.
    • In Europe, almost all main rivers are dammed. For ex. River Ebro (Northern Spain) delivers 1% of solid discharge volume of 1900.
  • Sediment deficit at the coast increase vulnerability to climate change impacts (SLR, storm surges, coastal erosion)
result weakened coastal systems
Result: weakened coastal systems
  • Diversity of environmental and socio-economic conditions at the coast create regional differentiation of vulnerability
  • The degree of adaptation to climate impacts is determined by the adaptive capacity (autonomous and planned) of the human-environment system
  • The capacity of coastal system for adjustment is small if the resilience of coastal system is reduced or necessary resources for adaptation are lacking
information needs at the european level
Information needs at the European level
  • Higher spatial resolution and more frequent updates that allow target local variations and have higher relevance to regional and local conditions
  • Understanding of causal links - better distinction of climate change impacts from other anthropogenic impacts (e.g. eutrophication and algae blooms, coastal and open sea)
  • Uncertainty of time horizon for forecasts
    • There is still little evidence so far for direct sea level rise
    • It is difficult to realize that sea level will rise for centuries
    • Often indirect CC mechanisms are more pronounced
  • Status of ecosystems- data onvariability and resilience of ecosystems (e.g. water quality, coastal habitats)
  • More integration with in situ monitoring of nature and with social and economic datasets to improve risk assessments
bridging the gap between science and practice
Bridging the gap between science and practice
  • More analysis of current land use and sediment management practices at our coasts (non-climatic issues)
  • Combine the results with predicted impacts of climate change
  • Improved interface from climate change research to coastal management
  • More relevant adaptation strategies
  • Broader vision of integrated coastal management in to coastal engineering
  • Reduced vulnerability to climate change impacts?
what more is needed
What more is needed?
  • Policy change: living with natural processes
    • Legislation is only beginning to recognize ecosystem approach and full threats of coastal squeeze
    • Spatial planning for coasts is only emerging (river basin, coastal and flood risk management plans)
    • Cross-sectoral integration on coasts to be realized (potential for SEA directive implementation)
    • Coastal protection still dominated by hard solutions or beach nourishment
  • Multi-scale adaptation: EU, national and local/regional level
    • Reflect diversity of EU coasts and be appropriate to decision making of the coastal zone in question
slide31

Current adaptation measures: reactive or proactive?

  • Regional and local governmental organizations, NGOs and the private sector have started to adopt new policies, regulations and standards accounting for climate change (role of insurance sector)
  • Measures mainly in areas with a long tradition of dealing with climate extremes such as flood defence
  • Many adaptation actions have been initiated because of the substantial losses from extreme weather events in recent years
  • Policies and measures designed to address long-term climate change impacts have not been developed to the same extent
slide32

Challenges for integration of adaptation into other policies and measures

  • Scientific uncertainty (low level of confidence in climate change scenarios of extreme events at high spatial resolution)
  • Policy action at regional/local level (need for stakeholder involvement; gaps in knowledge on potential adaptation policies and measures; lack of resources)
  • Costs of adaptation and benefits assessments(gaps in knowledge; how to identify “win-win” or “no-regret” options, justified under many plausible scenarios)
  • Coordination between sectors(how to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of measures with many organisations involved)
slide33

Possible adaptation framework

  • Define the overall (European/national) policy objectives
  • Determine priority sectors for adaptation action
  • Propose decision making criteria
  • Assess priority risks or opportunities (in each sector)
    • Identify potential adaptation options
    • Appraise and propose adaptation options (high priority, win-win and no-regret)
  • Define adaptation targets and indicators
  • Integrate and/or link to policy framework at the EU, national and sectoral level
  • Implement policies/measures
  • Monitor, review and revise if needed
slide34

Conclusions

  • Need to develop policy framework at European, national and regional/local levels
  • Integrate (“mainstream”) adaptation into other policies and measures
  • Enhance research (EU and national) on vulnerability assessments (including scenarios), good practices and costs and benefits, with stakeholder involvement
  • Improve management practices for non-climatic reasons, as potential to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts
  • Exchange experiences amongst relevant stakeholders (public and private; EU/national/regional/local)
  • Communicate risks clearly to those affected and the actions they can take
slide35

Thank you for attention,More information on EEA web page http://eea.europa.euThe European Environment Agency is the EU body dedicated to providing sound, independent information on the environment