Addressing the question of the very concrete impact and consequences of climate change in different geographical contexts, taking mountain regions as a starting point to show what reactions and responses at local and regional level may be necessary.
Promoting a common but differentiated policy approach in a European framework, based on concrete examples from the mountain regions which may be applicable to other regions/ types of regions.
Preparing the input of the CoR to the forthcoming Commission Communication on Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
The vulnerability of mountainous regions is clearly indicated in the impact report and in the Adaptation Strategy adopted by the European Commission, which is in line with the CoR opinion recommendations.
The importance of involving all administrative levels, including LRAs is included both in the impact assessment and on the EU Strategy. There is as well a reference to outermost regions. These were recommendations of the CoR opinion.
The CoR also noted that any measures to respond to climate change must be sensitive to the specific situations of different territories.
The EU Strategy on adaptation does recognize this point and offers tools and guidance on adaptation for tailored-made measures at national, regional and local levels. The Strategy also foresees the creation of a local and regional network on adaptation in order for territories with similar characteristics to share best practices on cost-efficient adaptation measures.
The CoR noted that the first priority must be to take the necessary steps to try and limit, as far, as possible, the rise in global average temperature (mitigation), but also to prepare at the different levels for those changes that are inevitable (adaptation).
The European Commission in its Strategy on adaptation clearly points out that mitigation measures are essential but that a comprehensive climate policy must also include unavoidable adaptation measures.
THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- notes that mountain regions are extremely sensitive to climate change and maintains that climate change adaptation in mountain areas should form part of a broader project to boost individual and collective resilience, taking account of all environmental, energy and social threats, as these are inevitably interconnected;
- notes that in 2013, the EU is to adopt an adaptation strategy and considers it imperative that this general strategy should have a local and regional dimension, as enshrined in Article 174 TFEU, including a chapter on mountain regions;
- underlines the fact that as mountain areas are likely to become more vulnerable over the coming decades, more scientific research and a good system for information exchange are needed. The EU budget for 2014-2020 needs to earmark specific funds for climate change adaptation. Policies need to be devised for improving access to and supply of services of general interest in particularly vulnerable areas;
- stresses that many mountain regions have already begun developing adaptation strategies; their objectives need to be coordinated and their results studied as a matter of urgency. It is important to harmonise initiatives which are currently scattered among many associations, research bodies and administrations in mountain regions.