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Addressing uncertainties in national climate change vulnerability/risk assessments and national adaptation strategies.


This session is co-organized with the European Environment Agency (EEA)


André Jol (EEA)

Swenja Surminski (London School of Economics)



The aim of the session is to explore and learn lessons on how EEA member and collaborating countries deal with uncertainties in their national climate change vulnerability/risk assessments and their national adaptation strategies (NAS).

There are many challenges in presenting and interpreting information about the implications of future climate change at the scales relevant for adaptation planning.

Thirteen EEA member countries have adopted national strategies and some have national action plans in place. Many countries have provided information on their national approaches (legal framework, assessments, priority sectors, local actions) to the European Climate Adaptation Platform (Climate-ADAPT).

In collaboration with CIRCLE2 and the interest group on adaptation of the Environmental Protection Agency network a questionnaire was sent to countries on how the deal with uncertainties in development and implementation of their NAS. An analysis of this information is being done. Furthermore the EEA report on climate change adaptation in Europe due in early 2013 contains information on dealing with uncertainties e.g. by means of 'adaptation pathways' and/or 'adaptation tipping points'.

In the UK the national Government is required to produce a National Adaptation Programme every five years. The first one is currently in preparation. In the session we gather experts from both academia (physical and social sciences) and policy-making (national and local government), to share their experience and understanding of the issues. The guiding question for their presentations will be ‘How do we make progress without over-interpreting the scientific information or becoming locked in to uncertain methodologies too early?'

For the concluding panel discussion we will select one practical example of an adaptation challenge. The expert speakers will be asked to present their approach to this question and then identify how to work together to achieve the best adaptation outcomes.




  • EEA: Hans-Martin Füssel: overview on how countries are dealing with uncertainties (based on EEA report on climate change adaptation and countries' responses to the questionnaire)
  • CIRCLE2: Short presentation on CIRCLE-2 joint initiative on uncertainties
  • Dave Stainforth (London School of Economics)
  • Nicola Ranger (London School of Economics)
  • Sebastian Catovsky (Adaptation Sub-Committee) or colleague
  • Dagmar Droogsma (Department for the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs) or colleague
  • Alex Nickson (Greater London Authority)