ESPON Climate Change
ESPON Climate Change
ESPON CLIMATE - Climate Change and Territorial Effects on Regions
and Local Economies
Stefan Greiving (TU Dortmund)
Vulnerability of European regions to climate change (I)
South-north gradient due to high impact
in South and South-Eastern Europe, but
also adaptive capacity of Scandinavia
and Western Europe countries.
Particularly countries which may expect
a high increase in impact seem to be less
able to adapt than others for which the
problem is less visible.
This scenario for the future runs counter
to territorial cohesion.
Climate change may deepen the existing
socio-economic imbalances between the
core of Europe and its periphery.
Particularly the East of Europe is affected
by demographic changes, which may
lead to an additional increase in
sensitivity but also decrease in adaptive
Vulnerability of European regions to
climate change (II): political implications
Tailor-made adaptation strategies
seem to be important primarily for
tourist resorts in the Mediterranean
region, but also in the Alps.
Agglomerations – mainly in the
South are vulnerable for several
reasons, which calls for adapted
settlement structures and urban way
Adaptation measures can target
different objectives: building of
coping and adaptive capacity,
reduction of risk and sensitivity or
capitalisation on climate change.
The main focus in adaptation policy
in Europe has been on identification
of impacts and management of
Adaptation options (I)
Considerable uncertainty, but
also heterogeneous patterns of
change call for territorially
strategies to extreme events.
Adaptation is a cross-cutting
issue due to the variety of
impacts on different sectors and
the interdependences between
impacts and response
Particularly relevant for sea
level rise/storm surges, but also
Adaptation options (II)
Broad involvement of all societal
groups is needed in order to
guarantee the legitimacy of actions.
Political decisions based on
uncertain knowledge need a broad
mandate from all social groups. In
particular, quantitative goals have
to be justified because they are of a
Adapting the existing settlement
patterns can be seen as the main
challenge for spatial planning
operating in the context of existing
private property rights.
Incentives and more inclusive
discourse-based approaches are
needed, which can be characterised
as ‘climate governance’.