Two days after the Portuguese Presidency of the Council obtained agreement on approval of the European Climate Law, the Environment Ministers of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland held a meeting that was chaired by the Portuguese Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes.
This informal video conference, which took place on Friday, 23 April, addressed the challenges of drought and water shortages within the framework of the adaptation to climate change.
The European Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, which was recently presented by the European Commission, demonstrates the need for a significant reduction in water use, with a commitment to alternative sources and a demand for the co-operation and involvement of the various economic sectors.
Two European bodies have been studying climate change and have provided the scientific support for the political decision making, namely, the Joint Research Centre and the European Environment Agency. They presented the current situation and future trends regarding the binomial water/adaptation.
The Executive Secretary for United Nations Framework Convention, Patrícia Espinosa, provided ministers with a roadmap for making COP-26 (Conference of the Parties) an important milestone in the combat against climate change. This speech led to an exchange of impressions between ministers on Europe’s role in climate change adaptation within an international context.
The European Ministers recognised the importance of gaining greater knowledge of the effects of climate change and of considering water as a critical aspect for adaptation, underscoring in particular the effects of drought, along with changes in rainfall patterns. There was also an exchange of each Member State’s experience in applying adaptation measures in its territory.
With this meeting, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union achieved its goal of heading the European political agenda with the issue of climate change adaptation and the need to agree on concrete measures and mobilise funding for the adaptation process.