Climate adaptation: the challenges for Flanders
In progress from 01-09-2010 to 31-08-2012
Project manager: Donaat Cosaert
In scientific circles, as well as in IPCC circles, alarming warnings can be heard about the hypothesis that the global emissions of greenhouse gases are increasing faster than had been assumed in the basic business-as-usual scenario, i.e. without policy changes. This would signify that the scenarios on which the European Union had based its climate objectives have become out of date. A policy that aims at reducing the greenhouse gas emissions remains absolutely necessary but is no longer sufficient. Little by little, we come to realize that time is not on our side, nor on the side of our authorities. It is not a minute to soon to start thinking about policy adaptation to the new circumstances. In their discussions on the climate summit of Copenhagen, the negotiators spent a lot of time on adaptation.
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This project is an attempt by the IST to give shape to an adaptation policy to be outlined by the legislative power(s). This report is complementary to the initiatives of the Flemish government and will build on the results achieved in policy areas such as water, agriculture, environmental planning, …
In a first period, efforts will be directed at creating a set of decision criteria to assess the degree of impact of future situations. An expert panel will give a hand with the selection. This will be a fundamental element in informing the policy makers on emergency situations that call for actions.
The second phase might become a thinking exercise to understand to what extent our government has the adequate policy instruments at its disposal. Emergency situations, regarded as “absolutely to be avoided”, should be firmly and timely countered. That is why it is important to prepare the implementation of such ‘emergency plans’ within the framework of an ‘adaptation policy’.
The report of the first phase will be finished by the end of 2010.