How to find money to improve our cities (and protect them from climate change)

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Climate change costs. Or rather, there are infrastructures, action and tools of urban planning to make our cities more resilient and able to cope with present and future impacts of climate change.  At what price? It depends, but there are innovative opportunities and mechanisms to find adequate financial resources and invest them efficiently. All the details and key messages in the new report of the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Cities, from larger to smaller municipalities, have many different options to adapt to climate change. For example, addressing climate extreme events such as a sudden flood or a prolonged and severe heat wave can be a driver for: implementing some infrastructures that reduce urban vulnerability and transforming the way cities are built and organised; improving and adjusting current infrastructures; fostering systems of communication to promote public awareness about behaviours to reduce climate damages. All these measures are essential to improve the so-called resilience of a city.
Each municipality has to select the best options matching his case and history. Whatever solution a city finally choses, it needs to find ways to implement and finance it. In order to be cost-effective, it is crucial to make an economic and financial analysis of different options to support a sustainable development of the city as a whole.

The costs of urban adaptation can be supported by different financial resources and mechanisms; challenges for municipalities are often to know about all available financing options and to access them.
The report entitled: “Financing Urban Adaptation” released by the European Environment Agency (EEA) underlines that municipalities across Europe acknowledge increasingly the need to adapt to climate change and address the challenge of financing to improve and enhance resilience in urban areas. The report collects examples of urban municipalities that have found innovative financing mechanisms to adapt to climate change. Hamburg and Lisbon, Amsterdam and Bologna, Copenhagen and Bratislava: practical implemented examples (11 case studies in this report) that provide an insight on different innovative financing mechanisms, such as crowd-funding and green bonds.
The broad range of measures presented in the report covering different sectors, such as water management, nature and environmental protection, health, sustainable transport, are examples that can become an inspiration for other urban municipalities to implement their adaptation plan.
The report follows a recent EEA publication, that is the report “Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 – transforming cities in a changing climate“, focused on the state of actions in the field and progress achieved in Europe since 2012. The report underlines the need that cities speed up the adaptation process in order to cope with the complex challenges posed by climate change. Based on an analysis of the socio-economic transition that cities have to face as a consequence of climate change, the report underlines the benefits of long-term investments in preventive measures able to enhance urban resilience while providing practical examples of urban planning to climate change adaptation in Europe.

Both EEA reports cited were realized with the scientific and financial support of the European Topic Centre on Climate Change impacts, vulnerability and Adaptation (ETC/CCA) coordinated by Silvia Medri (CMCC RAAS – Risk Assessment and Adaptation Strategies Division). More in detail, Margaretha Breil (CMCC, ECIP – Economic analysis of Climate Impacts and Policy Division) has coordinated ETC/CCA contribution to the report, dealing also with different sections, such as these dedicated to urban action, the creation of an adaptation platform, and the design, planning and implementation of different adaptation activities.


  • Financing Urban Adaptation – READ MORE
  • Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016 — Transforming cities in a changing climate – READ MORE


For further information:
Mauro Buonocore – – tel. +39 0832 671060
TeC – A blog on the Changing Climate

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