BaltCICA-Climate Change: Impacts, Costs and Adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region

May 13, 2011

BaltCICA was co-financed by the European Union through the Baltic Sea Region Programme. The project ran from 2009 to primo 2012. The Danish Board of Technology worked together with 23 partners from eight countries in the Baltic Sea region. In Denmark the partners were Kalundborg Municipality og GEUS (Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland).

On the 5th of March 2011 a citizen summit was held as part of this project.

Background

The climate is changing. The temperature is rising because of the increased amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The oceans will rise and the precipitation patterns will change. In the Baltic Sea Area flooding will occur more frequently during winter, drought will be more common during summer and the quality of the water environment will be worsened due to increased nutrient leaching.

The government’s strategy for adaptation to climate change in Denmark emphasises the importance of integrating the climate changes in local, regional and national planning and development.

The coastal areas surrounding the Baltic Sea are densely populated and thus particularly vulnerable for climate changes. The EU-project BaltCICA seeks to formulate concrete plans of actions in the partner countries.

Changing Climate

The warmer climate will cause the sea level to rise between 0.45 and 1.05 m in presence of surges towards the year 2100. In the southern part of the Baltic Sea many coastlines are threatened by coastal retreat during present climate conditions. The increasing sea level combined with the more heavy winter precipitation might intensify the coastal retreat. Low-lying, coastal residential areas are very vulnerable to change in the water level and some may become uninhabitable.

The ground water, and thus our water supply, is likewise endangered by the climate changes. A higher sea level increases the risk of salt water intrusion into ground water reservoirs. The quality of the ground water is further threatened by increased leaching of nutrients and pesticides used in agriculture.

About the Project

BaltCICA stands for “Climate Change: Impacts, Costs and Adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region”.

The overall goals of BaltCICA is to

    • Assess the impacts of the climate changes on the living environment and local development opportunities.
    • Test and implement concrete plans for adaption in close collaboration with local and regional authorities.
    • Assess the costs of the climate change and the increased risk of flooding on a regional level.
    • Develop a concept for managing the process of reduction and adaptation to climate changes.

Role in the Danish Part of the Project

In Denmark GEUS was responsible for analysing the consequences of the climate changes in the coastal areas south of Kalundborg and in the area near Tissø. Based on this analysis the Danish Board of Technology organised a scenario workshop in the fall of 2009, in collaboration with Kalundborg municipality, where actors and stakeholders from the local community discussed various future scenarios and adaptation options.

Based on the results from the scenario workshop, further technical analyses and discussions with administrators and politicians in Kalundborg Municipality, a set of different options for adapting to climate change were identified. These options were presented to 350 citizens at a citizen summit on March 5, 2011. The citizens discussed the different options and voted the ones they preferred.

Results from the citizen summit were received and discussed by city council members and were taken into account in the preparation of the adaptation strategy for Kalundborg Municipality.

 

Role in the International Part of the Project

The scenario workshop in Kalundborg served as a pilot study for the BaltCICA methodology. The Danish Board of Technology has subsequently been teaching other Baltic partners the scenario workshop method and supported the organization of scenario workshops in Hamburg and Klaipeda, Lithuania.