There is broad consensus that climate change impacts may lead to serious ecological, economic and social impacts across Europe, with some regions and sectors more deeply affected than others. Appropriate adaptation can reduce these impacts and, in some cases, yield benefits and business opportunities, but this often requires a multi-scale and multi-sector exercise in complex decision making across multiple levels of government. Decision makers at all levels in Europe currently face a number of significant challenges when devising appropriate and sustainable adaptation strategies.
This policy brief overviews these key challenges, highlighting their implications for planning adaptation strategies and measures and pointing to avenues of research that could facilitate enhanced adaptation decision making. Broadly speaking, these challenges, addressed in turn over the following three sections, can be categorised as follows:
- Uncertainties and insufficient knowledge
- Need to improve assessments
- Need to improve mainstreaming of adaptation in policy