Building a united front to tackle climate change
An EU-funded project to promote and support the coordination of efforts to respond to climate change and reduce the risk of natural disasters could better protect Europe and its citizens.
© jozsitoeroe #162762393, 2019 source: stock.adobe.com
There is a complex and large landscape of networks, research institutions, government bodies, companies and NGOs working to ensure society adapts to climate change, and to reduce the risk of natural disasters.
The goal of the EU-funded PLACARD project is to enhance the coherence of and give direction to research, policy and practice efforts towards climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and to strengthen cooperation in these domains. The need for such an initiative has been reinforced by an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to climate change, including cyclones, floods and heatwaves, in the past.
Climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) share the goal of preventing or lessening the damage caused by climate change on the environment, society and economy. However, they work with different actors and institutions, time frames, research methodologies and policies, leading to numerous fragmented suboptimal strategies and a duplication of research programmes.
To counter this, PLACARD aims to enable knowledge and experience sharing, strengthen institutional links, coordinate research and policy agendas and collaborate on strategies and practices between networks within and outside Europe. The goal is to better protect Europe and its citizens from the long-term risks of climate change and the short-term risks of extreme weather.
CCA research tends to start with an understanding of medium- and longer-term impacts. In contrast, DRR measures are often based on addressing existing risks rather than long-term approaches. One of the most obvious distinctions is that DRR addresses all types of hazards, including geological and technological hazards, while CCA focuses on responding to the dynamics of climate.
PLACARD is establishing a network of networks by connecting to existing networks and boundary organisations in order to foster dialogue among stakeholders (e.g. researchers, research funders, policymakers, practitioners) engaged in CCA and DRR at the international, European, national and sub-national levels.
In 2019, the project will set up a connectivity hub, a new search and discovery tool to bring CCA and DRR together to better understand which organisations are working on what, and where there may be overlaps and synergies.