The EU strategy on adaptation to climate change was adopted on 16 April 2013. The overall aim of the Strategy is to contribute to a more climate resilient Europe. To achieve this, the strategy focuses on 3 key aspects:
- promoting initiatives at Member State level;
- better-informed decision-making;
- taking better account of adaptation in the most vulnerable sectors (‘climate proofing’).
In 2016, the European Commission launched a process to evaluate the implementation of its Adaptation Strategy. This evaluation, completed in November 2018, indicates that the strategy has met its objectives. However, the report indicates that Europe remains highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
In accordance with the Strategy, an evaluation of the implementation of Member States’ national adaptation strategies was carried out on the basis of a scoreboard. The aggregated scoreboard for the 28 Member States indicates that most Member States (including Belgium) have made good progress in the first three stages of the adaptation process (i.e. “Preparing the ground for adaptation”; “Assessing risks and vulnerabilities” and “Identifying adaptation options”), but that further work is needed in the last two stages (“Implementation” and “Monitoring and reporting”).
European Regulation 525/2013 (on the mechanism for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relating to climate change) requires Member States to report information on their national adaptation strategies to the European Commission. Belgium’s 2nd report was finalised on 15 March 2019.
Through its initiative “Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy“, the European Commission encourages cities to commit to taking action to adapt to climate change.