Adaptation to climate change: how to stimulate the economy and bring benefits to public finance

VIDEO – The economic perspective has completely changed. Some years ago, any discussion on climate change and its priority among other economic issues were driven by the “old” climate change dilemma: adaptation and mitigation may have high cost, while benefits may be larger, but far in the future. “Nowadays, we know that climate change is no longer a problem for future generation: it is about present generation, it is about our societies”. The economist Carlo Carraro (Vice chair IPCC WG3, Professor at Ca’ Foscari University Venice, CMCC and Feem) explains that considering adaptation as a long-term investment could stimulate the economy and bring benefits for public revenues and for GDP. By showing concrete examples and figures, Prof. Carraro talks about how immediate investments in adaptation are costly in the short term, but produce positive impacts on the public debt in the medium-term because the avoided spending for flooding, droughts, hydrogeological disaster is larger then the investment in adaptation measures and infrastructures.

The value of natural capital in Regional climate policies

VIDEO – “Global warming calls for an integrated approach. It is a complex issue affecting many aspects of our life, and Regions have to face this compelling problem at very different levels”.
At COP 21 Side Event “Regions and Climate Change: a major challenge for local communities”, Riccardo Valentini (Lazio Region, CMCC) presented the ambitious targets and policy instruments of the Lazio Region to address climate change and accomplish Paris commitments.
“A key aspect will be understanding the role of natural resources”, Valentini said. “About 50% of GHG emissions are reabsorbed by forests and oceans. The value of natural capital is a dimension that we should include in our programs and activities: the Lazio Region is probably one of the first Regions in the world to have established a Committee that every year will assess the economic value of nature underlining the importance of nature protection and the need of comparing the value of natural capital with other traditional GDP type of analyses”.

From the Adaptation Strategy to an Adaptation Plan: the case of Italy

VIDEO – The Italian National Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change (SNAC) is the outcome of a collaboration between scientists, stakeholders, decision makers. It provides a National vision to address climate change adaptation, actions and guidelines to build adaptive capacity, and concrete proposals about cost-effective adaptation measures and priorities.
Prof. Donatella Spano– member of the Regional government of Sardinia, CMCC, and President of the Italian Society for Climate Sciences – explains that “it contains cross-cutting issues such as the winning synergies among adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development, and the relationship between adaptation and reduction risk disaster”.
The Italian SNAC is an example of collaboration among national and regional governance: coordinated by the Sardinia region, the board for interregional coordination was created in order to support the adaptation initiatives of regional and local governments, and ensure that these initiatives are coherent with the National Strategy. The board also aims at ensuring that the national plan on adaptation takes into account specific regional needs, and at monitoring the effectiveness of the implemented actions.

Adapting European Societies to Climate Change

How to take measures to adapt the society to climate impacts that are already happening, and to those that we will face in the future?
Prof. Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director at the European Environment Agency (EEA), addressed this topic at COP21 in Paris.
The key components of the European Adaptation Strategy include promoting action, providing a better informed decision making to close knowledge gaps on climate adaptation, providing a platform for knowledge exchange, such as the Platform Climate ADAPT, identifying key vulnerable sectors.
“A strategy is important, but it is not enough – concluded Prof. Bruyninckx – You also need an action plan, you need to monitor, you need to report, and you need to evaluate the impact of what is happening”.
Watch the video of the speech by Prof. Hans Bruyninckx at COP21 Side Event “Regions and Climate Change: a major challenge for local communities” COP Conference Center, Observer Room 12, Paris – December 10, 2015

The Role of Regional Governments in Climate Change Policy

There is no effective implementation of climate policies without a coordination of international agreements with local and regional governments. Ibon Galarraga, Professor at Basque Centre for Climate Change (BC3), spoke at COP21in Paris and highlighted how relevant is to understand that addressing climate change need e collaboration a different levels of governance.
Regional governments have got great potential in adaptation and mitigation strategies. They have great proximity with citizens, great flexibility to design and implement policies, they are in charge of many of the important areas for climate policy: transport, industry, housing, environment, energy. “From taxes to emission trading, from energy standards to public/private partnerships, from certifications to regulations, and capacity building – Dr. Galarraga said – there are many things that Regions can do, and that they are actually doing to face climate change”. Watch the video

The synergy of multilevel governance to face climate change

“Regional and local governments are ready to assume ambitious climate targets”. Francesco Pigliaru is President of the Sardinia Region and Chair of the ENVE Commission (Commission for the Environment, Climate Change and Energy) in the framework of the European Committee of the Regions.
At Cop 21 side event “Regions and Climate Change: a major challenge for local communities”, President Pigliaru underlined the need for a synergetic approach to climate policy and brought the attention on the crucial role of subnational governments to achieve global targets, to combine adaptation and mitigation, and to reduce the vulnerability of our territories. Watch the video

Pathways to deep decarbonization in Italy

Isabella Alloisio, Alessandro Antimiani, Simone Borghesi, Enrica De Cian, Maria Gaeta, Chiara Martini, Ramiro Parrado, Maria Cristina Tommasino, Elena Verdolini, Maria Rosa Virdis ---

Three alternative pathways that could reduce Italian CO2 emissions by at least 40% in 2030 and 80% in 2050, compared to 1990. A report that contributes to the national debate on climate change mitigation, and the importance of deep decarbonization, by analyzing the challenges the Italian energy system faces and possible future technological developments that will need to be pursued. The report “Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in Italy” was released in the run up to COP21 by IDDRI and SDSN in collaboration with ENEA and FEEM. The document analyzes the barriers to achieving deep decarbonization in Italy and highlights the possible impacts of deep decarbonization on the energy system, the economy and society. The currently available technology options and some technical hurdles still to be addressed are presented and discussed while highlighting the policies needed to be established to successfully achieve deep decarbonization. As the Deep Decarbonization Pathways in this report illustrate, achieving the deep decarbonization and modernization of the Italian energy system will require a much stronger effort, in terms of technology development and even more focused policy planning.

Health and Climate Change toward COP21

A conversation with Bettina Menne

“The countries arriving in Paris with clear national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions represent more than 80% of current global emissions. Of these, more than half explicitly consider health as a crucial factor for intervening on the impacts linked to climate change”. Bettina Menne, researcher on the relationship between health and climate change at the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses the interlinked issues of climate change and public health on the eve of the UNFCCC on Climate Change in Paris. Interview by Mauro Buonocore

Putting genetic resources on the Climate Change Agenda

A conversation with Andy Jarvis

“We need policies and mechanisms to improve exchanges of genetic material while helping agriculture adapt to changing climatic conditions”, says Dr. Andy Jarvis (CIAT – International Center for Tropical Agriculture). “Climate change is putting genetic diversity at risk while causing biodiversity loss. Studying and promoting conservation programs for domesticated species and their wild relatives, along with policies improving their sustainable use, will be essential for addressing climate change”. Moreover, Dr. Jarvis says, the risks posed by climate change highlight the key interdependencies between countries: countries must help each other by sharing their materials while preventing further losses of their agricultural genetic resources, and in some cases by introducing new varieties and species that have not been previously raised..
Based on several studies, the book released by FAO “Coping with climate change: the roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture” presents an overview of the complex interactions between climate change and plant, animal, forest, aquatic, invertebrate and micro-organism genetic resources while addressing two key questions: What are the possible effects of climate change on genetic resources for food and agriculture and how does it influence their management? What are the specific roles of genetic resources for food and agriculture in coping with climate change? Interview by Laura Caciagli

“Over here and nowadays”: pictures from everyday climate change

Interview to James Whitlow Delano

He has lived in Asia for more than twenty years while documenting environmental and human rights issues: the tumultuous development of China, the Japanese tsunami and nuclear crisis, conditions at Kabul’s drug detox and psychiatric hospital, the indigenous people of the Amazon and Andes, the devastation of Malaysia due to oil palm plantations, the “standing girls” or sex workers of Tijuana in Mexico’s Zona Norte, the desertification in China,the cyclone in Burma, etc.
James Whitlow Delano is an internationally awarded American street photographer. Aware of the common thread running through many of the environmental and humanitarian issues reported by his works from around the world, on January 1st 2015, he launched the project Everydayclimatechange. This is a new climate change feed on Instagram and Facebook showing that climate change is real and raising public awareness and engagement. Now, from July 28th to August 28th 2015, an exhibition in Milan presents the project while exposing the works of 25 photographers from all continents. “I would like people to see themselves in those photos and bridge the distance”, Delano says. “As mentioned, climate change is not just happening ‘over there’ it is happening ‘over here’ and everywhere. We are the answer, all of us”. In a conversation with Laura Caciagli, James Whitlow Delano tells us how he started working on this project and why his struggle for the protection of the environment and the rights of “the little people” of the world are strongly intermingled with the issue of climate change.