In tourism, industry, transport and urban development

In the global struggle against climate change, two strategies can be identified. On a first hand, mitigation strategies target green house gas emission reduction. On the other hand, adaptation focuses on a series of local actions and measures to improve human and nature resiliency to climate change. After a comparison of French and Ireland climate change adaptation policies, we will reflect on the role of the European Union in developing national climate change policies in EU Member States.     France adopted its National Adaptation Strategy in 2006, and its National Adaptation Plan in 2011, which covers 5 years of implementation. The NAP’s objective is to provide concrete measures and actions as a mean of expanding and improving the NAS at a local level. They both rely on the following principles: expanding knowledge on climate change for better decision-making ; integrating adaptation into existing public policies ; sharing adaptation information to involve all stakeholders ; considering inter-sector interactions to improve allocation of fundings ; and to identify each stakeholder’s responsibility for funding and implementation (CGEDD, 2015).  The NAP contains 84 actions which are detailed in 230 concrete measures. Each of these measures specifies a timeline, a responsible lead (specific organisations, localities, etc…) and a set of partners. France has allocated €171 million for the completion of these actions (APA, 2011).    In 2015, an evaluation of the NAP was published, France used cost-benefit analysis and participatory process tools to produce a list of sectors to prioritise. A second NAP is on the way (Climate-ADAPT, 2017).French climate change adaptation policy was planned and implemented in priority sectors such as forestry, agriculture, health, and energy. France reports that there has been substantial progress in these sectors. However, there has been shortcomings in monitoring the allocation of financial resources (CGEDD, 2015) as well as delays or limited progress in sectors such as aquaculture, tourism, industry, transport and urban development (Climate-ADAPT, 2017).     In December 2012, the Irish Government published the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework which aim is to reduce Ireland’s vulnerability to climate change by providing a policy strategy involving all stakeholders, all governance levels and all sectors. The NCCAF announces a two-phase approach: the first phase focuses on gathering information about climate change and national vulnerabilities to facilitate decision-making and start the adaptation planning. Reports have already been published by Ireland Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and have provided recommendations on adaptation actions (EPA, 2009). The second phase focuses on the elaboration of adaptation action plans and their implementation in the respective sectors  (NCCAF, 2012).The NCCAF is built around four pillars : providing a policy environment that encourage national adaptation actions ; promoting knowledge-sharing about adaptation ; developing climate adaptation solutions ; and committing to support the adaptation efforts. The NCCAF addresses the following sectors: water, agriculture, marine protection, forestry, biodiversity, transport, energy, communications, flood defence and health. Each sector is allocated to relevant Government Departments, who will be responsible for planning and implementing action plans in a transparent manner. Additionally, the framework encourages communities and local authorities to include adaptation measures into their planning (NCCAF, 2012).     In January 2018, the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment of Ireland published a National Adaptation Framework ensuring the continuity of the NCCAF. The NAF requires the relevant departments and local authorities to provide sectoral adaptation plans and local adaptation strategies (respectively). Stakeholders are to begin the work in 2018 and a review of their actions will take place every five years. Although the timeline is made clear in the NAF, it does not provide much details on measures or specific actions, rather an outlook on what has been done in term of adaptation work up to date and a collection of guidelines and proposals at government and local levels. According to the NAF, progress has been made since the NCCAF, especially on the local level, and some barriers have been identified such as the lack of coordination between governance levels and between projects (NAF, 2018).    Both France and Ireland adaptation policies cover all sectors known to be affected by climate change. France has been setting strategy, planning, implementation and assessment projects earlier than Ireland. Yet Ireland has shown willingness in joining the global effort for climate change adaptation. France’s reports show more concrete actions and measures to be taken by clearly identified actors, while Ireland’s approach relies on general guidelines and proposals. They both identified significant barriers hindering the implementation of their adaptation actions : funding allocation in France and coordination in Ireland.    To enhance Member States’ protection against climate change, the EU formulated a series of regulations and incentives to frame their mitigation and adaptation policies.    The Emission Trading System is a cap-and-trade system aimed at cost-effective carbon reductions across MS, since 2005. It covers mostly the energy and manufacturing industry sectors, which represent half of EU carbon emissions. A limit is set on the total amount of carbon emissions allowed and allowances are distributed and traded among companies of the said sectors. The ETS creates funds which are used for climate change mitigation or adaptation actions on a more local level (Climate Action, 2018).The Effort Sharing Decision targets the non-ETS sectors, such as transport and agriculture. The reduction in carbon emissions for those sectors is legally binding. The target has been set at -20% emissions between 1990 and 2020. MS share those emission reductions by sector according to their GDP per capita and have to adapt their national policies to meet those legal requirements. Additionally, other EU regulations have been adopted to reduce non-carbon greenhouse gas emissions and promote the transition to renewable energies. Finally, carbon emissions from land-use and forestry were not included in 2020’s targets but will be included in the new targets for 2030 (Climate Action, 2018).    In 2013, the EU formulated the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change to encourage MS to build their own national adaptation strategy, and cities with the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. The EU is also promoting knowledge-sharing and best practises with the Climate-ADAPT platform, where MS can share their national adaptation policy. Above all, the EU insist on transboundary cooperation for adaptation at a regional level (Climate Action, 2018).    Finally the EU committed to spend more than 20% of its budget on climate related projects by 2020 (Climate Action, 2018).


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