That was the European Climate Adaptation Conference "ECCA" in Lisbon
1,200 participants, 580 papers and an international media outreach. ECCA is Europe's largest conference on climate change adaption (28.05.-31.05.2019). This year, CLARITY presented a new methodology and tools to support cities with their adaption strategies for climate change.
European cities must act. While temperatures have been rising for years, the fight against climate change is dangerously slow. Member States, cities and regions are appreciating the need to act and are developing adaptation plans and declaring "climate emergencies" in ever greater numbers. The fourth European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (ECCA) brought together thousands of scientists, experts and urban planners in Lisbon to discuss ways of adapting. It was held for the first time in Southern Europe and emphasised the collaboration between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR) communities, bringing the two groups together.
CLARITY is a project funded by the EU framework programme "Horizon 2020". It provides a climate service which gives site specific informations on climate change risks and offers adaptation options. At the ECCA conference, CLARITY's partners presented their methodology and ideas for more livable cities of the European Union.
ECCA in general focused on the targets of the three major international agreements: Paris Agreement, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Topics discussed and presented ranged from extreme flooding, business adaptation, methodologies, urban green infrastructure, innovation and urban resilience, climate services for decision making systems, citizens and sustainable living, to youth initiatives.
Tuesday 28 May plenary started with the risks that Europe faces from extreme weather events. Denis Havlik (AIT), Giulio Zuccaro, Mattia Leone were unfolding the potential of climate services for climate change adaptation.
Urban microclimate modelling
While climate change impacts affect cities globally, adaptation measures need to be identified and designed locally. Matthia Leone from the study centre for hydrogeological, volcanic and seismic engineering (PLINIVS) proposed a methodology that allows to refine the information derived from climate models.
The aim is to extend through a new generation of climate services the application of Copernicus data, as a harmonized, freely available and expanding data repository at EU level, also exploiting the synergies with other EU initiatives, such as the Risk Data Hub currently being developed by the Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre.
Workshop: Exploitation in CCA and DDR
Wednesday 29 May opened with ECCA's business plenary, Adapting businesses to climate change – risks and opportunities. On this second day of the ECCA conference CLARITY held a joint session with different projects for climate change adaption and disaster risk reduction. Andrea Geyer-Scholz from consulting media outlet "Smart Cities Consulting" (SCC) presented how the projects BINGO, BRIGAID, VITENS and NAIAD could establishing synergies between researchers and other stakeholders to learn about new exploitation strategies and to understand how one project’s results can be complemented with another's.
Research and innovation in Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction is a growing field, with an increasingly number of projects dedicated to understanding the impacts of climate change and developing solutions to either adapt to or mitigate these impacts. However, one of the most demanding challenges in research and innovation in these (and many other) areas is ensuring the sustainability of the results after the projects’ completion.
Tools and data for climate resilient cities
Rosmarie from ZAMG presented the CLARITY CSIS at the Tool-shed session. The Clarity Climate Services Information System is a screening tool for urban areas and infrastructure projects to help others for detecting risks and developing strategies. The workshop's goal was to identify key factors promoting the relevance of climate change information for municipalities and to discuss in the group.
the role of climate services in urban planning - our Showcases
Here, Jorge Amorim from SMHI presented the Swedish Showcase: Stockholm city is highly sensitive to future changes in river runoff as well as lake and sea levels. The underground subway along with the different existing and planned road traffic tunnels are also highly vulnerable to extreme precipitation events. Expected climate change effects include greater rainfall intensities, with a 25% rise in extreme rain events by the end of the century. As a result, the Stockholm area will experience a rise in both flash floods and “pluvial flooding” that may last for weeks and cover large areas. CLARITY's approach is to intervene in each stage of the climate-proofing analysis by facilitating the assessment of vulnerability and risks. SMHI provides the data.
Astrid Kainz presented the effects of climate adaptation measures for the Austrian City of Linz as part of CLARITY ́s climate services. The Austrian demonstration case addresses the compound effects of heat waves and urban heat islands in Linz, which under climate change are expected to worsen. Urban climate adaptation goes along with applying spatial planning instruments related to climate adaptation in Linz. Here risk and adaptation measures are also required to cope with extreme precipitation.
"No action is not an option," said the Environment Minister Matos Fernandes, at the conference.
Here you can get an impression of how scientists and practitioners were sharing progress on adaptation across Europe. Data, methods and approaches in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction were presented on ECCA also by the project coordinators of three other EU-funded adaptation research projects: BINGO, PLACARD and RESCCUE.
We would like to say thank you to everyone who joined us in Lisbon for ECCA 2019! ECCA 2021 will take place in Ljubljana.