IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

18.7.2 Inter-relationships in practice

In practice, adaptation and mitigation can be included in climate-change strategies, policies and measures at different levels, involving different stakeholders (see Section 18.3). For example, the European Union previously emphasised policies to focus on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in line with Kyoto targets. However, it is increasingly acknowledging the parallel need to deal with the consequences of climate change. In 2005 the European Commission launched the second phase of the European Climate Change Programme (ECCP), which now also includes impacts and adaptation as one of its working groups. They recognise the value of win-win strategies that address climate-change impacts but also contribute to mitigation objectives (EEA, 2005).

Examples at the national level include the UK Climate Change Programme, which includes adaptation and mitigation (DETR, 2000). The UK also addresses adaptation through its Adaptation Policy Framework, the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) and a Cross-Regional Research Programme led by the Department for Environment, Forestry and Rural Affairs (Defra). Malta identified in its first National Communication to the UNFCCC a range of win-win adaptation options, including efficiency in energy production, improving farming and afforestation (Ministry for Rural Affairs and the Environment Malta, 2004). The Czech Republic has agreed to give priority to win-win measures, due to financial constraints (EEA, 2005).

Relevant to the sub-national and local level in the UK is the planning policy and advice released by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister for the benefit of regional planning bodies (ODPM, 2005). It includes advice to planners on how to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation into their policy planning decisions. ODPM (2004) encourages an integrated approach to ensure that adaptation initiatives do not increase energy demands and therefore conflict with greenhouse-gas mitigation measures. Adaptation measures would include decisions about the location of new settlements and not creating an unsustainable demand for water resources, by taking into account possible changes in seasonal precipitation.

Other examples of projects which incorporate ‘climate proofing’ include the Cities for Climate Protection Campaign, a worldwide movement of local governments working together under the umbrella of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, improve air quality and enhance urban sustainability. Local governments following this programme develop a baseline of their emissions, set targets and agree on an action plan to reach the targets through a sustainable development approach focusing on local quality of life, energy use and air quality (ICLEI, 2006). For example, Southampton City Council has developed a climate change strategy in conjunction with its air quality strategy and action plan, seeing close links between the two. The strategy includes measures for the council and partners to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants through integrated energy systems and continued air quality monitoring. The mitigating measures are supported by improved management of the likely impacts of future climate change and the impacts on air quality through better planning and adaptation, such as coastal defence, transport infrastructure, planning and design, and flood risk mapping (Southampton City Council, 2004).