Promoting measures to help North-West Europe adapt to the impacts of climate change

RegioStars 2012 FinalistA major challenge for territorial development in North-West Europe (NWE) is improving its capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change. Some 100 project partners from seven EU Member States are combining their efforts to promote climate change adaptation through a strategic cluster of eight transnational projects.

Additional tools


"SIC adapt! - Strategic Initiative Cluster – Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change" - is a grouping of networks or clusters that brings together eight projects funded by the INTERREG IV B North-West Europe Programme, to jointly tackle adaptation to the impacts of climate change in different spatial settings. The projects focus on appropriate adaptation measures for sensitive environments such as urban areas, floodplains and coastal zones across North-West Europe.

Increasing the resilience of vulnerable environments

The cluster, which is led by the German Water Board, Lippeverband, was launched in October 2010 with the aim of:

  • increasing the resilience of built, water, natural and social environments towards climate change;
  • building a stronger knowledge base;
  • inputting climate change impacts into key EU policies; and
  • supporting wider international efforts at adaptation.

The funding of this strategic cluster allows 100 project organisations to work together and refine their strategic approaches at the local and regional levels. The cluster aims to provide a significant contribution to the review of key EU policies as proposed by the European Commission under the EU climate-change adaptation strategy after 2013.

Supporting the project is a ‘Cluster Expert Board’, which brings together representatives from all levels and types of organisations beyond the existing project networks to provide effective knowledge transfer from the local/regional level to the national/EU level and vice versa for aligning the approaches.

A web-based cluster knowledge platform provides a comprehensive knowledge base of experts and will serve as a long-lasting information basis within these organisations. Moreover, the knowledge platform will be integrated into a web portal that will sustain the professional network.

Involvement of stakeholders

The initial conclusions from the project indicate that climate change adaptation will only be successful and effective if the development of technical adaptation tools and measures include stakeholders as part of the process. It is evident from the early work that the main challenges in this process lie in improving communication, facilitating organisational change, and increasing institutional capacity. Special attention needs to be paid to the local and neighbourhood dimension of climate change and to the target groups such as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The concerted actions of the cluster will result in extensively tested assessment tools and good-practice adaptation measures that can be easily transferred throughout NWE and other European regions. Given the benefits of having access to the knowledge of around 100 clustered organisations it is anticipated that this transnational exchange will last beyond the formal establishment of the cluster.

Total and EU funding

The project “Strategic Initiative Cluster – Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change (SIC adapt!))” has a total eligible budget of EUR 879 525, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 879 525 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date