What are the climate change impacts and the challenges of adaptation?

Climate change started already and will continue. In Europe, cities depending on their geographical position, expect gradual change in terms of higher temperatures and a rising sea level and the increase of the number and intensity of extreme weather events such as flooding due to storm surges, river flooding or heavy rainfall heat waves and droughts. They increase the risk for water scarcity, wild fires and landslides; they cut the supply of energy, water, food and other goods; pretend people to commute; damage buildings and infrastructure and threaten people's health.


While mitigation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions is a way to keep climate change at a level that we can still manage, climate change adaptation is needed to deal with the remaining impacts. Thereby, adaptation measures can consist in

  • measures to cope well with the damages after an extreme event like emergency services;
  • establish and improve protection infrastructure, like dykes;
  • transform the way to deal with an impact, e.g., finding innovative ways of living with water instead of keeping it away; or
  • a combination of these.

Measures can be grey (technical infrastructure), green (working with vegetation) or soft (regulations, incentives, behaviour).