Climate change is now a very real fact of life across the EU and a wide variety of different LIFE projects have been actively working on ways to both mitigate the effects of climate change, and to help the EU adapt to its impacts.
Extreme weather patterns, such as floods and droughts, are becoming increasingly common-place realities for European citizens. In addition to these severe climatic conditions, other, sometimes more subtle changes, are also having profound effects on habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity in general.
The EU has recognised the importance of holistic approaches to tackling climate change and more than 30 different EU policies and measures have been launched since 2000 to minimise future impacts. To support these efforts, the European Commission will soon publish a further Communication on adapting to climate change.
Following on from the 2007 Green Paper on ‘adapting to climate change in Europe - options for EU action’, the new Communication is anticipated to identify five key challenges for adapting to climate change: improving knowledge of impacts; improving awareness of need for adaptation; mainstreaming adaptation in policies; advancing international work on adaptation; and working in partnership between the EU and MS, plus other interests and stakeholders.
The EU’s LIFE programme plays an important role in supporting European climate change legislation and LIFE projects have been working on a variety of practical methods for adapting to climate change. Some examples include:
Climate change is an important priority for the LIFE+ programme. Some 22 projects on climate change have already been chosen for co-funding in the new programme’s first year, representing a total investment of approximately €24 million in EU co-financing.
Further information about the LIFE programme’s role in supporting actions that help the EU to tackle climate change impacts is available from the energy and climate thematic section on the website, and in the brochure “LIFE and Energy”. Additional examples of LIFE project responses to climate change issues are also included the recently released LIFE Nature best practices publication.