Addressing resilience building and disaster risk reduction, when curtailing climate change mitigation priorities, is a vital necessity. The COVID-19 crisis has been a reality check for the need to strengthen the resilience of our societal systems in the face of unpredictable and complex risk. The socio-economic impacts of the pandemic crisis added to existing stresses and shocks linked to climate change. Forest fires, large-scale floods, storms, heatwaves and scorching droughts are being exacerbated by climate change and are affecting areas all over Europe, exposing regions to hazards not traditionally prepared for such risks.
Through the European Commission’s proposed COVID-19 recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, the EU aims to build a more sustainable, resilient and fairer future through substantial investments in the twin green and digital transitions. The European Green Deal has a key role to play in this planned recovery strategy. This report considers how the European Green Deal, with the additional stimulus provided under Next Generation EU, can accelerate the shift towards preventive rather than reactive measures in the face of growing and new risks triggered by the climate emergency, through the necessity of long-term risk avoidance in near-term policy and investment cycles. This is essential to ensure a more resilient Europe.
Building on the European Commission’s Green Deal and certain initiatives reinforced under Next Generation EU, the report provides a set of recommendations to a number of key political initiatives, with particular attention to the policy integration of disaster risk reduction as well as the European Commission’s intention to adopt a more ambitious EU strategy on adaptation to climate change.