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Society, the economy and ecosystems will be faced with the impacts of climate change over the coming decades and will need to take measures to adapt. Research plays a major role in the development of skills, methods and technologies to cope with the consequences of a changing climate.

The assessment of climate change impacts and related adaptation are emerging scientific and policy areas. National and European research show that the impacts (and adaptation efforts) vary across the continent and beyond. Europe needs to be further equipped with the necessary science-based knowledge to better manage the long-term risks and opportunities of climate change and to mainstream that knowledge into its strategies and frameworks. Uncertainties are large and measures need to be prioritized.

Decision-making needs scientifically sound knowledge about climate change impacts and vulnerability but also on available and novel adaptation options.

"To achieve a sustainable future, we must already look beyond the short term. Europe needs to get back on track. Then it must stay on track. That is the purpose of Europe 2020 [1]."

Climate adaptation is of common strategic interest across the Member States. The challenge for policy-makers is to understand the consequences of climate change impacts and to develop and implement policies that ensure an optimal level of adaptation. Thus, specific adaptation objectives will be implemented at different levels of decision-making.

Coordinated scientific research is needed to enable policy developers to evaluate their various options and to help align national and sub-national climate change response initiatives with the overall European framework and international agreements and developments.

Joint efforts are additionally needed to bring research closer to its users and to ensure that its outcomes are fully used in informing adaptation at different levels: European [2], national (e.g. CLIMATE-ADAPT [3], National Adaptation Strategies [4] or Climate Service Centres [5]) and sub-national (e.g. initiatives from autonomous regions [6]).

A clear understanding of adaptation measures is necessary for the development of multi-level adaptation regimes and their ongoing improvement.

CIRCLE-2 partners and contributing partners, representing different national and regional research programs which fund CCIVA research develop this common Climate Adaptation Research Agenda (CARA) to jointly support climate change adaptation policy, based on the identification of research needs and opportunities for joint research.


General Aims

The aim of CARA is to provide European, national and sub-national actors involved in climate adaptation research with a common strategic view from CIRCLE-2 partners and contributing partners.

CARA will display Areas of Interest of CIRCLE-2 partners and contributing partners that will be deeper assessed and used for future collaboration in CCIVA research across Europe (and beyond).

CARA will therefore:

  • Serve as the backbone to further reinforce and deepen the coordination and cooperation between national and regional research programmes;
  • Foster responses to policy-relevant CCIVA questions and thus improve our basic understanding related to impacts, vulnerabilities, and adaptation;
  • Increase the effectiveness of national and regional research funds of Europe through the fostering of joint activities that allow optimizing research spending and maximizing research outcomes to address policy needs;
  • Promote long-term cooperation among and across European CCIVA research programmes and institutions via the alignment of national and regional CCIVA agendas under common strategic research and policy areas;
  • Help to structure a common language and framework for CCIVA research funding;
  • Enable a medium and long term programme of climate adaptation research on a transnational scale to combat climate change.


[1] José Manuel BARROSO, President of the European Commission, Preface to the "EUROPE 2020 - A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth", 3 March 2010


[3] White Paper on Adaptation to Climate Change in Europe