Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy
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Research Handbook on Climate Change Adaptation Policy

Edited by E. C.H. Keskitalo and B. L. Preston

This topical and engaging Research Handbook illustrates the variety of research approaches in the field of climate change adaptation policy in order to provide a guide to its social and institutional complexity.
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Chapter 9: Adaptation policy at supranational level? Evidence from the European Union

Robbert Biesbroek and Rob Swart

Abstract

The European Union (EU) is a supranational entity for which climate change adaptation has become an important policy topic. This chapter seeks to address the question of how the EU currently governs climate change adaptation. The authors show how the open method of coordination as governing logic offers the possibility for the European Commission to mainstream climate change adaptation considerations through the acquiscommunautaire. Moreover, this approach also offers the Commission the possibility to stimulate the exchange of best practices, setting up new policy, practice and knowledge networks, involving non-governmental organizations and the private sector in adaptation, and to facilitate coordination and cooperation between member states and regions. Beyond these mostly procedural policy tools, however, the EU has very limited power to force member states to start adapting. The authors reflect on what these insights from the EU mean for governing climate change adaptation at the supranational level in general.

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