External Publications

Sep 30, 2022

How Can the European Union Adapt to Climate Change?


Europe must increasingly deal with the harmful impacts of climate change, regardless of its success in reducing emissions. These impacts have significant cross-border effects and threaten to deepen existing divisions. Cooperation on adaptation, which is mostly seen as requiring local or regional efforts, may be useful, but the role of the European Union is ill defined. This article gives an overview of how climate change might transform Europe and how it might affect people and the economy. It also discusses on what grounds adaptation policies should be pursued at the EU level. 


This article was first published by Intereconomics – Review of European Economic Policy in September 2022. You can download the PDF with the full text here


The article argues that a stronger adaptation governance framework would benefit adaptation efforts and formulates three ideas to strengthen adaptation. The first is a three-layered governance framework based on intensive cooperation to establish binding adaptation plans. Second is an EU-level insurance scheme against damages from climate change, with the size of national contributions tied to the achievement of targets in adaptation plans. The final suggestion is to increase ex ante adaptation funding by targeting more spending under EU regional and agricultural policies specifically to adaptation in the most vulnerable regions.