Goal setting

Goal

As the climate risks have been assessed and analysed, the set of risks that can be addressed are known. However, practical considerations (such as available resources) might restrict the number of risks or level of reduction that can be realistically addressed in the current climate adaptation plan. This step concerns defining realistic adaptation goals for the current climate adaptation plan and how they address the assessed climate risks. These goals will be used in the selection of adaptation approaches and solutions.

Preconditions

Determining what risks to address in the climate adaptation plan and to what extent begins with an overview of relevant climate risks.

Commitment from stakeholders to these goals is an important factor of success for the adaptation actions. The overview of stakeholders and their committed involvement provides guidelines for setting the procedure of defining the goals.

Outcomes

The result of this step is a set of goals that addresses the risks defined in Risk Assessment.

Guidelines

The goals should be functional and focus on main targets for a city or asset (e.g. ‘Ensure a reliable water supply for all citizens for the next 100 years.’).

To ensure support for the adaptation goals, a wider circle of officers than those related to the administrative department of climate adaptation should be involved in developing these goals. It might also be appropriate to invite external stakeholders to provide input for the discussion. The overview of stakeholders and their interest can provide insight in who to involve in the decision.

  • Provide the selection of risks that will be addressed in the adaptation plan;
  • Propose a set of adaptation goals with an inner circle, taking into account the SMARTY principles, constraints determined in the scoping, and contraints in terms of time and resources.
  • Discuss and finetune these goals with a wider circle, including external stakeholders (in individual interviews or meetings)
  • Compose a list of final adaptation goals

Experiences

Bratislava

Since mid-20th century changes in climate change related hydrological patterns and temperature patterns are evident in Slovakia. Just in the last three decades, the average temperature rose by 0.5°C and the number of tropical days has doubled. In regions with lower altitude and lowlands, such as Bratislava region, the increase in average temperature doubles. According to the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute, Bratislava region suffered the longest consecutive period of drought in 2016 and 2017 since 1981. The outlook is not very positive either. According to the climate change scenarios developed by the same institute, the average temperature will continue to rise to 2°C – 4°C until end of 21st century. In other words, where the 30ties used to be common feature of some of the summer´s hottest days, soon it will be temperatures in the 40ties. In addition, the decrease in rainfall is expected to continue, by the end of 21st century it is expected that the majority of Slovakia´s territory will suffer from increase of long-term average surface run-off of – 40%. With most of the surfaces in cities being sealed these will become extremely vulnerable. In addition to natural hazards, one needs also to consider the present and future socio-economic factors, such as aging population and daily migration and dependence on fossil fuel-based transport in both public and individual passenger transport. Therefore, the vision of the Strategy of adaptation to climate change in Bratislava is that the city will gradually implement the necessary adaptation and mitigation measures to eliminate the impacts climate change to ensure adequate quality of living and natural environment, protection of health, property and long-term conditions for the quality of life of the citizens and visitors of the city, in active cooperation with external partners and city residents.

Paris’ Adaptation Targets

Paris’ newest planning document is its official, comprehensive Adaptation Strategy, which was adopted by the City Council in September 2015 and published in November 2015 (Mairie de Paris, 2015). This document is the operational declination of the PCET (Mairie de Paris, 2012a). Its targets, which actually represent the Adaptation Strategy’s four main parts, mirror the targets defined within the PCET which were updated:

  1. Protect Parisians from extreme climate events
  2. Ensure the supply of water, food and energy
  3. Live with climate change: more sustainable city planning
  4. Foster new lifestyles and boost solidarity

Within these four main parts, the Adaptation Strategy has stipulated 30 objectives, which are underlined by 35 actions. Some of these 30 objectives are, for example (Mairie de Paris, 2015):

  • Facilitate the access to refreshing spaces during summer
  • Refresh the city during temperature peaks (e.g., watering pavements and squares with non-potable water, installing misting systems over public spaces, installing inflatable pools, transforming fountains into paddling pools)
  • Manage the amount of water consumed
  • Strengthen the free access to drinking water in public spaces
  • Turn 33 hectares into spaces for urban agriculture in Paris by 2020 (on roofs, walls, yards, squares)
  • Insure residents do not have to walk more than 7 minutes to green space or water bodies by 2020
  • Conduct an extensive revegetation program to refresh the city
  • Develop alternative storm and rainwater management options
  • Integrate adaptation-related recommendations of buildings and public spaces in urban regulations

Guided by these objectives, the Parisian local government intends to not only anticipate and prepare the city for extreme weather events, the idea is also to use these impacts to improve the situation in Paris by promoting urban agriculture, strengthening its ecosystems and biodiversity, improving the thermal comfort during the summer months in the city by overhauling the built environment or even adapting working hours.

Challenges

Based on the synthesis report of the PCET (2012), different other reports as well as interviews with several municipal officers, identified number of challenges and opportunities, notably for adaptation, were identified. Amongst the challenges are:

  • Finding sustainable means of cooling the City of Paris during heat wave episodes to protect its vulnerable population groups. Based on climatic projections, longer and more frequent heat waves will probably occur and thus refreshment will bethe challenge, particularly for vulnerable people.
  • Protecting the City of Paris against increasing flood risks caused by run-off or from high water levels in the Seine River. Flooding is indeed a major issue for Paris notably with the centennial flood risk, which could be exacerbated by climate change.

Promoting the local production of energy and food supply and diversifying it whilst reducing the overall consumption. This challenge is indeed becoming more and more important with regards to the risk of resource scarcity.

Supporting tools and methods

RAMSES Backcasting to identify long-term climate adaptation goals

The ‘Backcasting to identify long-term climate adaptation goals’ worksheet developed within the RAMSES project is a step-by-step description of steps to take to identify long-term climate adaptation goals.