Adapting to extremes: exploring the challenges of the new decade

PLACARD virtual conference

12 May 2020

Our 2-hour event took stock of current collaboration between climate change adaptation (CCA) and disaster risk reduction (DRR), showcasing success stories and diving into what is not going so well. It featured interactive activities, discussion breakout rooms and encouraged participants to actively engage in the exchange.

The conference video contains the discussion and presentations, but not the break-out groups. The accompanying notes (51 pages, 3.6 MB) were created as a live document during the event, and include discussions, thoughts and more information.

Rationale and objectives

One of the more foreseeable consequences of climate change is an increased incidence and intensity of extreme events. The Global Risk Report, published in 2019 by the World Economic Forum, ranks extreme weather events and failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as the first two risks to society most likely to happen in the next 10 years. Reducing such risks requires different societal sectors to align strategies and forge effective collaborations in this new decade, and make significant progress to achieve 2030’s targets of the three international agreements signed in 2015: Paris, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Although the last five years marked significant efforts to enhance the coherence, coordination and communication between the CCA and DRR communities, still overlaps remain, as both aim to reduce negative impacts of climate change and disasters, respectively, on the natural environment, human society and economies, by anticipating risks and uncertainties, and addressing vulnerabilities.

As we enter a new and decisive decade, Europe begins a new scientific and policy cycle. The launch of the European Green Deal, the next EU research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe, with a specific Mission on adaptation to climate change, and the future adoption of a new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change provide new opportunities for collaboration and the development of innovative solutions to respond to society’s challenges.

Within this context, the main purpose of our virtual conference was to explore opportunities for collaboration between climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction for the next decade with regard to policy, research and practical actions.