ECCA 2017: Our Climate Ready Future

Co-organized by EU-funded IMPRESSIONS, HELIX and RISES-AM projects, in collaboration with Adaptation Scotland and Glasgow City Council ECCA 2017, ‘Our Climate Ready Future’, welcomed over 850 people in the City of Glasgow in June 2017.

The vision was that this conference would inspire and enable people to work together to discover and deliver positive climate adaptation solutions that can strengthen society, revitalise local economies and enhance the environment.

"We were delighted to get a great response to our efforts to engage others outside the academic community, and the conference was able to bring together the people who will deliver action on the ground – from business, industry, NGOs, local government and communities – to share knowledge, ideas and experience with leading researchers and policymakers. Glasgow proved to be the ideal venue, at the heart of a city-region that is putting climate adaptation and climate justice at the core of decision making. Delegates were welcomed at the magnificent City Chambers, with a speech by the deputy Lord Provost that set out Glasgow’s strong commitment to tackling both the causes and the effects of climate change." explain the organizers.

See the full overview from the organizers, alongside some kley materials and images here: 



Policy Booklet: Understanding impacts and adaptation to high-end climate scenarios in Europe

Combining the force of over 150 researchers from leading scientific institutions across Europe, three major EU-funded projects, IMPRESSIONSHELIX and RISES-AM-, have synthesized research knowledge on impacts and adaptation under high-end climate change for key policy sectors.

While the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, aims at limiting global warming to well below 2°C, concerns remain that current global greenhouse gas emissions are on track to warm the climate by more than that target. In order to adapt to such high-end climate change and foster actions to avoid it, it is vital that decision-makers have access to reliable scientific information on these uncertain, but potentially high-risk, scenarios of the future.

Funded by the European Union to advance understanding of the consequences of high-end climate change, involving temperature increases above 2°C, IMPRESSIONS, HELIX and RISES-AM-, have assessed climate change impacts, vulnerability and possible adaptation interventions across a range of policy sectors, in order to help decision-makers apply such knowledge within integrated response strategies.

In the newly published policy booklet they describe research findings and understanding emerging on issues related to high-end climate change alongside reflections on the implications for policy and decision-making. For example, high-end climate change could have strong and lasting effects on the agriculture and consequently on food markets and food security across the globe, and also in Europe. For agriculture, as well as forestry, water and nature conservation differential impacts are projected across Europe and trade-offs may occur between them.

Adaptation to high-end climate change, and decisions on actions to avoid it, require robust assessments of the associated risks that go beyond assessing individual impacts of gradual change. As sea level continue to rise, adaptation, including soft engineering and nature-based solutions, will become increasingly important for sustainable coastal management.

Drawing on a very wide range of expertise from many disciplines in both the natural and social sciences, in this booklet the three projects present new understanding of the implications and risks of exceeding 2°C, as well as the challenges and opportunities of adaptation to such a warmer world, and the extent to which risks can be reduced if warming is held as close as possible to 1.5°C. To address these challenges and opportunities, societal transformation and innovative approaches in science and policy may be required.

The booklet features research on impacts and adaptation relevant to a number of areas addressed by policy: food, freshwater, forestry, coastal protection, nature conservation, urban areas, human health and foreign policy. The booklet also considers cross-cutting impacts, challenges and opportunities for transformational change as a response to multiple, interacting risks.

"The policy booklet brings together empirically-grounded science from three large research projects to quantify and explain the consequences of high-end climate change for society at large. The booklet should be particularly useful for decision-makers with responsibility for designing climate change adaptation, mitigation and development strategies by making them fully aware of long-term climate risks, adaptation limits and adaptation/mitigation opportunities" Paula Harrison (IMPRESSIONS Coordinator).

"The policy booklet shows in a single volume the results of three European research projects that illustrate the multiple dimensions of climate change impacts. It also covers new strategies and some innovative solutions for coastal zone adaptation to future scenarios. This can serve to support future climatic assessments that will need to be integrated and incorporate those innovative solutions to increase the sustainability of vulnerable areas such as the coastal zone." Prof. Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla (RISES-AM- Coordinator).

"It's now more important than ever that we get a good picture of high-end climate change above 2 degrees C global warming. What are the impacts and risks? How can we adapt? Is it still avoidable? This report gives a snapshot of current research from three major projects looking at this issue, showing how we are improving our understanding of this crucial global issue." Prof. Richard Betts (HELIX Coordinator).

You can download the booklet from our Media Center.




Rapid and significant sea-level rise expected if global warming exceeds 2 °C, with global variation

The latest issue of Science for Environment Policy, features a study partly conducted under IMPRESSION's sister project RISES-AM, predicting the world could experience the highest ever global sea-level rise in the history of human civilisation if global temperature rises exceed 2 °C.

Under current carbon-emission rates, this temperature rise will occur around the middle of this century, with damaging effects on coastal businesses and ecosystems, while also triggering major human migration from low-lying areas. Global sea-level rise will not be uniform, and will differ for different points of the globe.

Sea-level rise is one of the biggest hazards of climate change. It threatens coastal populations, economic activity in maritime cities and fragile ecosystems. Because sea-level rise is a delayed and complex response to past temperatures, sea levels will continue to climb for centuries into the future, even after concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have been stabilised.

Read more about the study and its findings in the original policy brief.

(source: "Science for Environment Policy": European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service, edited by SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol.)

New EEA Report: Financing urban adaptation to climate change

New EEA report "Financing urban adaptation to climate change," takes a closer look at innovative funding options now being used, such as green bonds and crowdfunding, alongside traditional funding channels. The report includes case studies that analyse how 11 cities across Europe are developing, funding and implementing urban adaptation measures. The case studies outline various projects that will help cities better protect themselves from the damage caused by extreme weather events. These include building more green spaces and installing green roofs, which enhance water retention and provide cooling as well as thermal insulation.

The publication is meant to serve as a resource for adaptation financing providers and project developers from international, national or regional public bodies and private institutions. The report also includes a helpful annex providing an overview of European-level financing options available to municipalities.

Municipalities across Europe increasingly acknowledge the need to adapt to climate change and have begun to adopt various measures. Meeting the costs of adaptation measures for climate change is, however, a major challenge. Municipalities have found innovative ways to overcome that challenge and have started implementing measures. These solutions could be relevant for other cities, towns and smaller municipalities too, and examples are collected and presented in this publication as an inspiration. It offers insights into lessons learned on the ground regarding the most successful approaches, the difficulties encountered and overcome and the key success factors in financing local adaptation action.

Read more in the Original Report: