The need for adaptation to climate change to be integrated and mainstreamed into all European and national sectoral policies was the key message conveyed at the Informal Meeting of Ministers for Environment and Climate Change of the E.U., which today concluded its works.
Ministers stressed the urgent need for adaptation to climate change to be integrated and mainstreamed into all sectoral policies such as energy, transport, industry, buildings, water, land use and particularly the Common Agricultural Policy and the Cohesion Policy.
"There is the possibility both to continue and intensify the integration of adaptation in other EU sectoral policies and also to address the external dimension of climate change in key sectors such as water, availability of resources (raw materials, energy etc.), the food chain, etc", said the President of the Council of Environment Ministers, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment of Cyprus, Sofoclis Aletraris at the press conference following the meeting. EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Mrs. Connie Hedegaard, could not attend the press conference, as she had to leave earlier for Brussels.
During the discussions at the meeting, the Cyprus Presidency also concluded that the European Adaptation Strategy should be flexible, based on the diversity of impacts, vulnerability and adaptive capacity of member states and their status in relation to the preparation and implementation of their National Strategies. An adaptation strategy that will support national efforts, whilst in parallel giving direction for collective action, trans-boundary cooperation and exchange knowledge and best practices, appears to be the most preferred option.
It was emphasized that reliable funding (both public and private) is crucial for effective implementation of national adaptation strategies.
There was a broad understanding that the proposed Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, should aim for an increase and facilitation of public investment for adaptation and provide added value to the implementation of the EU and National Strategies. The difficult economic conditions in Europe cause potential constraints in mobilizing sufficient public resources for adaptation.
Private sector essential for financing
The need for the involvement of the private sector in the financing of adaptation was recognized. It was stressed that governments must make further efforts to strengthen the role of private funding and expertise, and to develop the appropriate policy frameworks necessary to encourage private investments. Related actions could include the awareness and guidance of all stakeholders and potential investors for specific needs of adaptation measures and for new investment opportunities, the active participation of the private sector in the development of national adaptation strategies, examining the various options and the best approach in terms of insurance.
Further, a number of ways were proposed for Member States to make better use in mainstreaming adaptation into the EU financial instruments such as:
• placing integration at the heart of the National sectoral policies and investment funds
• increasing national funding for research and innovation for adaptation
• providing guidance to potential beneficiaries and investors and setting prior conditions by the managing authorities of the Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund of the Member States.
In addition, the need for further information exchange and dissemination of knowledge was emphasized, in particular regarding the efficiency and economics of various options for adaptation measures and their possible funding. The European platform CLIMATE-ADAPT, the involvement of other specialist organizations, and the intensification of adaptation awareness and dissemination of knowledge could be the means of achieving this target.
"The goal of the Cyprus Presidency was fulfilled, since the discussions arrived at concrete proposals to be considered in the development of the forthcoming European Adaptation Strategy and in other policies as well”, concluded Mr. Aletraris.
Find the statement made by EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Mrs. Connie Hedegaard earlier today, as an attached document to the right.
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