Ng, K., Campos, I. & Penha-Lopes, G. (Eds.) (2016) BASE adaptation inspiration book: 23 European cases of climate change adaptation to inspire European decision-makers, practitioners and citizens. Lisbon, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon. 144 pp. ISBN: 978-989-99697-6-6.
Climate change is a reality and the extent and speed of change are becoming ever more evident: temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, sea ice, glaciers and snow are melting, and sea level is rising. Climate-related extremes such as heat waves, heavy precipitation and droughts are increasing in frequency and intensity in many regions. These changes, in interaction with economic and demographic developments and land use changes, have already had many impacts on ecosystems, economic sectors, infrastructure and human health and well-being across Europe. The global Paris climate agreement is a major step forward, aiming to keep the increase in average global temperature to well below 2°C and requiring substantial reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement is due to enter into force in November 2016. However, complementary actions to adapt are also required, to prevent or minimise the impacts. The EU climate change adaptation strategy of 2013 encourages countries to adopt adaptation strategies, promotes action in cities, mainstreams adaptation in EU policies, enhances research and informationsharing, and provides funding. In 2017-2018 the European Commission will assess whether action being taken so far is sufficient. An increasing number of European Environment Agency (EEA) member countries have adopted national adaptation strategies and are implementing action plans. Strategies and actions also emerge in many cities and transnational regions across Europe. Technological and ecosystem-based measures, and measures addressing behavioural changes, are being taken. Especially ecosystem-based measures, with multiple benefits, receive attention. The EEA provides information to support these developments. For example in 2016 EEA published a report on urban adaptation including an overview of actions cities have taken. It recommends taking a wider systemic approach, including for example better urban planning with more green areas that can retain excess rainwater or cool built-up city centres in the summer, or by preventing the construction of houses in flood-prone areas. This can transform cities into much more attractive, climate-resilient and sustainable places.