Adaptation to Climate Change

The climate is changing. This process has started and will not stop, even if greenhouse gas emissions would stop as of today. As a consequence extreme weather events will occur more often, and with larger impacts. Floods, storms, heavy showers, heat waves and extreme droughts happen more and more often.

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How can agreements on climate change adaptation help in anticipating to this future?

Society will have to count with the changing climate. If not, this will result in high societal costs. Standards can be an important tool to make society more resilient to these impacts.

The question how often in 2050 an extreme shower can occur, is already now important for the engineers that develop a new sewage water system.

Lots of data available

In the past decades a lot of research has been carried out on climate and climate change. Researchers have gathered vast amounts of data and continue with this. Using these data, impacts of climate change can be mapped: what will be the change of the climate?; which impacts will it have?, and what are the most vulnerable areas? Policiy maker are now looking at how to use these data in policy development, managing of cities and the design of new living areas. At the same time, the uncertainties about future climate are large. Especially regarding extreme weather situations. Despite this, future data are of great importance, as many installations, buildings and infrastructures have lifetimes of decades. Therefore, the question how often in 2050 an extreme shower can occur, is already today relevant for the designers of a new sewage water system.

The role of standardization

Standardization is an handy tool to capture climate data in a consistent way, and to easily exchange information about that. Standardization avoids that people invent the wheel again and again.

Take a look at the developments:

European developments

Mandated project ‘Adaptation to Climate Change’

Buildings and infrastructure (e.g. railroads, pylons, telecom towers) are priority sectors in the EU strategy on adaption to climate change. It is if key importance that the European standards that define the design and operation of these sectors take climate change into account.

In a mandated project commissioned by the EC to CEN/CENELEC (the European organization for standardization), and led by NEN, an inventory has been made of relevant European standards. Following this inventory, 13 standards will be revised to improve the resilience to the adverse effects of climate change. Read more >>

Copernicus project

Copernicus Climate Change Services (C3S), a research programme of the European Union, develops projections of the future climate. NEN is currently investigating for C3S which climate information is needed by designers of standards for infrastructures. A broad range of stakeholders has been consulted, with a focus on designers of infrastructures for energy and transport, and buildings. The ultimate goal of the project is that in the future these infrastructures will be resilient to the effects of a changing climate, such as rain, storms, extreme droughts and floods. Read more >>

RESIN-project ‘Climate Resilient Cities and Infrastructures’

RESIN is a large programma financed by the European Commission. The objective of the project is to make European cities and vital infrastructures resilient to climate change. A special point of attention is the standardization of the procedures for determination of vulnerability of buildings, streets and squares and of possible adaption measures, as well as procedures to measure the effectiveness of measures taken. NEN has an important role in the (determination of) standardization activities. Read more. >>

International developments

Also at a global international level (ISO), developments are going on in the field of adaption to climate change. Within ISO/TC 268 'Sustainable cities and communities' and ISO/TC 207/SC 7 'Greenhouse gas management and related activities' different standards are being developed. Examples are a standard for 'Vulnerability Assessment' and 'Indicators for Resilient Cities'. NEN participates in both TC's. Read more >>

National developments

City deal for climate resilient cities

On a national level, NEN has teamed up with the ´city deal for climate resilient cities´. This is an initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure. A number of public organisations, including municipalities and water management boards, as well as seven (semi-) private stakeholders, including Heijmans, the Netherlands Water Partnership and the Rotterdam Centre for Resilient Delta Cities participates. these parties use the City Deal as a practical learning environment and a nursery for innovations.

Inspiring stories

The consequences of climate change ask for improvement and renewal of how to deal with water in the city. Showers become heavier. Rivers step more regularly outside their banks. Especially for cities in Deltas this is worldwide an increasing problem. It is a great challenge for governments, companies and cities to keep the consequences under control.

Read the inspiring stories of parties in the water sector, with their visions on management of water in cities. How do they deal with these challenges?

Read the stories


For questions about the organization or the program you can contact Ab de Buck, Milieu & Maatschappij +31 15 2 690 303 or Emiel Vehoeff, Business Development, +31 15 2 690 334 or you can send an e-mail.

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