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The economics of climate change adaptation in EU coastal areas
This study on ‘The economics of climate change adaptation in EU coastal areas’ provides insights in the state-of-play and the financial dimension of the actions undertaken to prepare Europe’s coastal zones, including the Outermost regions, to the effects of climate change. Consequently, the different climate change adaptation aspects observed in the field are compared with the latest insights stemming from dedicated scientific literature. From this comparison and gap analysis recommendations are made to enhance the basis for policy-making on climate change adaptation in coastal zones. Thereby, this study has to be seen as ‘part of the puzzle’ of climate change adaptation in Europe, focusing primarily on the actual status of climate change adaptation across Europe’s coastal zones and the related expenditure at European, national and sub-national level. The most recent IPCC report (2007) underlines that climate-related changes over the 21st century will include an acceleration in Sea Level Rise (SLR), further rise in sea surface temperature, more extreme weather events and storm surges, altered precipitation and ocean acidification. Within coastal zones these climate-related changes can be expected to have a range of impacts. Rising sea levels will increase the flood-risk and erosion along the coast but may also impact freshwater availability or result in an accelerated loss of coastal eco-systems. Climate experts emphasise the importance of adapting to these potential effects of climate change by developing and implementing coastal protection and adaptation strategies. Nevertheless, to date, little is known about the actual climate change adaptation practices and related investments made by the different member states to protect and adapt their coastal areas against the effects of climate change. This summary provides an overview of the main insights of the study on the economics of climate change adaptation in EU coastal areas. Complementary to the summary and the final report, the insights per country are detailed in dedicated country fiches which can be downloaded from the European Commission’s website.