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Adaptation to climate change in the European union: efficiency versus equity considerations

Stine Aakre, Dirk Theodor Georg Rübbelke

EU climate policy based on reduction (mitigation) of greenhouse gas emissions is coupled with measures aimed at responding efficiently to the unavoidable consequences of climate change (adaptation). However, as the European Commission stated recently in its Green and White Papers on adaptation in Europe, there is still need to develop an overall EU adaptation strategy. Moreover, such a strategy should take into consideration both efficiency and equity concerns. In this article we propose a framework for EU adaptation policy that addresses the two concerns and which enables a transparent decision-making process. In the proposed scheme universal weightings of the individual policy objectives have to be agreed upon prior to actual decision-making.

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