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25 Sep 2008

Adaptation to Climate Change in the European Union: Efficiency vs. Equity Considerations

Stine Aakre / Dirk T.G. Rübbelke

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EU climate policy is based on GHG emissions reduction (mitigation) coupled with measures aimed at responding efficiently to the unavoidable consequences of climate change (adaptation). However, as the European Commission recently stated in its Green Paper on adaptation in Europe, there is still a need to develop an overall EU adaptation strategy. Moreover, such a strategy should take into consideration both efficiency and equity concerns. In this article we propose a framework for EU adaptation policy that addresses both concerns and which enables a transparent decision-making process. In the proposed scheme universal weightings of the individual policy objectives have to be agreed upon prior to actual decision-making.

The authors are researchers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO).