It is accepted by society and politics nowadays that climate adaptation is a policy problem. Flanders too is wondering how the future impact of climate change can be limited. The complexity and uncertainty of the impact of climate change should not prevent Flanders from taking action, but includes challenges for the Flemish policy makers.
Commissioned by MIRA, the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the Antwerp University studied the way in which Flanders deals with the problem of climate adaptation. Does Flanders act? Which factors are stimulants and which are brakes? The report formulates recommendations for the further introduction of an adaptation policy in Flanders.
The economic cost of climate adaptation needs to be established, as well as the cost of ‘doing nothing’.
Climate change is not a matter for the Flemish Government on its own. Both private actors and other policy levels must play their role. Active involvement from these actors must lead to concrete engagement agreements and the coordination of initiatives.
The Climate Adaptation Plan is just a first step in the direction of a coherent Flemish strategy with actions and measures. After publication in 2012, the Flemish Adaptation Steering Group, which brings all policy domains around the table, can still form an essential instrument for the continued coordination of sector policy plans with one another. One condition for this is that all of the relevant policy domains actively participate in this.
The Flemish government must invest in communication about climate adaptation to the general public, but must avoid conflicting messages.
The very nature of this policy process implies that Flanders must focus on ‘learning’. Learning networks can be used to share experience. Furthermore, there must be room for evaluating policy initiatives.
Read the English summary
of the report ‘Ready for what’s coming? Concerning the introduction of climate adaptation policy in Flanders.
MIRA contact person MIRA: Saskia Opdebeeck (email@example.com