The brief highlights the importance of EU leadership in guiding risk assessment and developing policy responses to transboundary climate risks.
The brief finds that building more resilient societies, including climate-resilient trade and production systems, is critical in creating a more sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant economy.
Addressing transboundary climate risks will also support the European Green Deal and the EU’s green COVID-19 recovery.
Adaptation Without Borders, a joint initiative seeking to respond to the challenges of climate change adaptation by strengthening international cooperation and building global resilience, released a policy brief that explores opportunities to advance climate-resilient trade and production among EU member States. The brief offers recommendations within the context of consultations on the EU Adaptation Strategy and the Trade Policy Review.
The policy brief titled, ‘Climate-resilient Trade and Production: The Transboundary Effects of Climate Change and Their Implications for EU Member States,’ argues that climate change impacts “are already creating cascading risks that intersect with trade patterns and international supply chains.” Such risks include the disruption of trade or transport, including electricity generation and transmission and diminished production of particular agricultural goods. The brief states that these risks pose a growing challenge for EU member States, and have the potential to reverberate across the global economy.
Several EU countries have conducted assessments of transboundary climate risks. Germany’s assessment finds that the economic impacts of trade-related transboundary climate risk are greater than the combined effects of all direct climate change impacts within Germany’s borders. Assessments by Switzerland and the UK find similar results on the effects of transboundary climate change. Although several countries have conducted such assessments, EU member States have not yet developed policy responses based on their findings.
To address transboundary climate risks, the brief highlights the importance of EU leadership in guiding risk assessment and developing policy responses to transboundary climate risks. The brief states that decision making should be guided by three principles: effectiveness in reducing and managing risks; clear designation of responsibility; and fairness in the distributional impacts of the policies’ effects, including discussion about who will gain from particular policies and who may be harmed. The brief recommends that the EU support its member States in identifying, managing, and reducing transboundary climate risks by creating common guidance and methodologies, developing innovative governance mechanisms to strengthen resilience, fostering cross-sectoral and international cooperation, and harnessing strategic partnerships. The brief provides specific recommendations for EU member States on conducting assessments of transboundary climate risks in trade and production systems, and identifying, assessing, and implementing policy options.
The brief concludes that building more resilient societies, including climate-resilient trade and production systems, is critical in creating a more sustainable, inclusive, and vibrant economy that can withstand the shocks and stresses of a changing climate. Addressing transboundary climate risks will also support the European Green Deal and the EU’s green COVID-19 recovery. The brief highlights the potential of the EU Adaptation Strategy and the Trade Policy Review in building a resilient global European economy.
A seminar on ‘Climate-Resilient Trade and Production,’ held on 9 July 2020, involving 45 representatives from 17 EU member States and European and international organizations, helped inform the brief’s findings and recommendations. The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) organized the seminar on behalf of Adaptation Without Borders, in collaboration with the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the European Commission, and the Horizon 2020 project CASCADES. [Publication: Climate-resilient Trade and Production: The Transboundary Effects of Climate Change and Their Implications for EU Member States]