This thematic objective, Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management, covers the following investment priorities:

  • Dedicated adaptation investment
  • Risks, disaster resilience & management systems

Key messages

Adaptation to accommodate a changing climate provides opportunities to protect and improve public health.

Preventing and responding to disaster is about protecting human lives. EU policy for disaster preparedness emphasises the need to address a complete cycle, including prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.

Europe is already experiencing climate change. In coming decades, temperatures are expected to continue to increase (especially summer temperatures in southern Europe), along with changes in precipitation patterns, with higher risks of extreme weather. Europe will face higher health risks from natural risks and disasters, including extreme weather and flooding, as well as periods of drought. Heat waves may increase, creating greater health risks especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly. Patterns of infectious disease will shift, increasing levels of tropical and sub-tropical diseases in Europe.

The conditionality for this thematic objective calls for national and regional risk assessments and refers to climate adaptation strategies, which are cited also in the European Commission’s White Paper on adaptation of April 2009. Structural Funds can play a key role in supporting adaptation and risk management actions: these are of course focused on protecting life, so consideration of the health dimension throughout the programming cycle will ensure an effective use of resources.

For detailed information

You can investigate the causal pathway of the relationship between investments in climate change and health gains. And you can learn in detail about possible Actions to Consider to improve the way that Structural Fund programmes link climate change adaptation and health.