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Cities and regions


outlines 2013

climAte cHAnge Photo: © M. Cebolla/Archive PNDE.


Leading European regional body explains how it seeks to include weather phenomena (storms, high winds, foods, etc.),
public in major adaptation and resilience decision making the change in wave patterns, and the concentration of
population and infrastructure in this area, are factors that
increase the vulnerability of the coast.
On 29 April 2013 the European Commission launched the EU Strategy on Adaptation
to Climate Change. Adapting to climate change, such as greenhouse gas mitigation, is The strategy analyses a total of 11 natural systems and
not only an environmental problem; it also has an economic dimension. It must therefore socio-economic sectors. It should be mentioned that
be treated as a whole by the environmental authorities and those in charge of economic water is the most vulnerable resource having direct
policy. In fact the cost of not adapting to the impact of climate change in Europe has consequences for other sectors. The forestry sector has
been assessed at 100 million euros by the year 2020. This huge fgure is the economic the most knowledge on the impact of climate change,
appraisal made by the European Environment Agency, taking into account fooding, the whereas the socio-economic sectors either do not know
effects on coastal areas, the energy required for cooling and heat wave mortality. about adaptation or do not include it in their future
Vulnerability to environmental threats, along with their identifcation and magnitude
according to the different European biogeographical regions (Mediterranean, Alpine, Of the 63 impacts described in the strategy as a result of
Boreal, Continental, Atlantic, etc.) largely depends on the degree of exposure and climate change, 32 are impacts already observed (major
on both physical and socio-economic sensitivity. Adaptation therefore requires local increase in temperature, increase in sea level, variability
(cities), regional and national strategies to meet the challenge posed by climate in precipitation, changes in agricultural production, fewer
change successfully. days with snow, etc.). Thus, climate change in Catalonia
is not imagined, it is a reality that must be recognised
Far from being mere guidelines for Member States, the EU strategy establishes duties and faced. The ESCACC thus includes a total of 182
and deadlines for their undertaking. So, for example, by 2017, all Member States must adaptation measures to reduce vulnerability to the
have adopted an adaptation strategy, or, by 2020, cities of over 150,000 inhabitants impact of climate change: 152 specifc measures for the
must have adopted an adaptation strategy. various sectors/systems and 30 cross-cutting measures
related to R&D&I, knowledge transfer and training.
Regional action to adapt to climate change: Catalonia
Aware of this fact, and in advance of the established deadlines, Catalonia approved the Finally, it is important to note that, given the eminently
Catalan Strategy for Adapting to Climate Change (ESCACC) in November 2012. This local component of adaptation to climate change, public
strategy highlights the Pyrenees and the Catalan coast, particularly the Ebro Delta area, participation is essential, either at an individual level or
as the geographical areas that are most vulnerable. In the Pyrenees, the anticipated through civil organisations and associations. Throughout
increase in average temperature is +2.5ºC by the middle of the century. With respect the process of drawing up the Catalan strategy, particular
to the coast, the rise in sea level, signifcant in the Ebro Delta, the increase in extreme attention was paid to this aspect and, as a result, over
428 proposals were received. Such efforts must continue
if we wish to achieve the objective of building a society
The Catalan Ofce for Climate Change that is more resilient to climate change.
The Catalan Ofce for Climate Change is the Government body
in charge of promoting the defnition of a Catalan policy on
climate change agreed by all stakeholders and assessing its
implementation in order to reduce the vulnerability of Catalan
society as a whole, while fostering its skills.

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