Forging a climate-resilient Europe, The new EU strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

On 24 February 2021 the European Commission published Forging a climate-resilient Europe -the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

It might seem that this new strategy signifies a shift into a higher gear for implementing the Green Deal. It is not.

In his presentation and defence of the strategy, the Commission’s vice president  Timmermans declared:

 “If we step up work on adaptation today, we can make sure the EU and the planet, are much better prepared for the unavoidable changes we will face tomorrow. We need to do it immediately,” adding that the EU has to “avoid the worst and prepare for the unavoidable”.

Climate adaptation is about preparing for the inevitable impacts of climate change – more frequent storms, floods, droughts, fires and heatwaves – which will continue even if the nations of the world cut their emissions.

We can find these same eloquent words in many of the speeches given by various politicians over recent years. The end result is that the policy of small steps has not changed environmental degradation; on the contrary, it has driven it to catastrophic levels. When the house is ablaze, you need immediate and drastic action to remedy the situation.

This is why environmental organisations and civil society have criticised the strategy for not setting out clear and binding targets that can block the causes of climate change. EU bodies must stop relying on committees of “experts” who simply discuss among themselves in order to find points of compromise, always at the lowest common denominator, rather than finding a level of development that is compatible with the limits of nature and the environment.