Tackle information asymmetry to accelerate climate change adaptation

The last month has seen a spate of scientific studies underlining the increasing vulnerability of cities, infrastructure and landscapes in the face of climate change.

One study by the University of Salford found that only a tenth of England’s extensive floodplains are adequately defended, putting an increasing number of homes and businesses at risk of flooding. Another study suggests that the “urban heat island” effect could intensify the impacts of climate change, making cities up to 7C warmer.

Any hard-won victories over climate change on a global scale could easily be countered by uncontrolled damage at the local level. Now, more than ever, we should be accelerating our adaptation actions.

According to the IPCC, there is a considerable scope to adapt to the impacts of climate change now with current scientific understanding, technology and know-how. Equally, in several sectors and areas, current adaptation approaches and technologies will not be enough. Innovation – in terms of governance, policy, regulation, finance and technology, for example – is needed to help tackle some of the thornier adaptation challenges such as in the agriculture sector, in the resilience of urban infrastructure and in our highly populated coastal deltas.

Information asymmetry – a barrier to adaptation

One of the biggest adaptation barriers we face is asymmetric access to information on current and future climate risks. Some of the most detailed and accurate risk information is held by insurance companies, scientific institutions and modelling agencies. But it is most needed by cities, businesses, individuals and community groups. Information, data and tools on climate risks are often kept confidential, use highly technical language and are not searchable. Even if data is made available, there is a capacity gap that needs to be closed before the information can be used to inform choices.

EIT Climate-KIC launches adaptation approach

The European Union Adaptation Strategy, agreed in 2013, seeks to strengthen Europe’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. It focuses on three key objectives, including better informed decision-making by addressing gaps in knowledge about adaptation.

EIT Climate-KIC, as Europe’s leading innovation catalyst for tackling climate change, is actively engaging partners, projects and start-ups in innovation for adaptation. Over the last five years, we have helped nurture over 50 adaptation start-ups and supported over 40 multi-partner adaptation innovation projects.

Part of our approach is a commitment to better informed decision-making and tackling information asymmetry through disruptive innovation. This week, Climate-KIC launches its Adaptation Approach as part of the third European Climate Change Adaptation Conference, with a focus on building resilience in urban infrastructure and agriculture/forestry value chains. Climate-KIC has also been instrumental in developing the OASIS Hub, an online market place for trading free and commercial climate risk data, which launched this week.

As an open access, crowd-sourced data platform for tackling some of the existing market failures for climate risk information, OASIS Hub embodies the approach to democratising the information and tools much needed for adaptation, but which have for, so long, only been accessible to experts. As it develops over the coming months, OASIS Hub will host tools, services and training courses to help future users of data to understand how to access, assess and employ the data for helping to make adaptation choices.

Information that can be used between global and local Perhaps the greatest benefits that our approach and disruptive marketplaces like OASIS Hub can achieve is a mechanism for driving collaboration and co-operation from the local to the global levels – matching supply and demand. In a fortnight where we’ve seen that global efforts can start to unravel, it’s even more important that strong ties remain to defend against the damaging impacts of climate change.


You can find out more about EIT Climate-KIC’s activities at the third European Climate Change for Adaptation Conference in Glasgow this week, and read our Adaptation Approach paper here.


Mitchell__Tom_November_2011_400x400 Tom Mitchell is Chief Strategy Officer at EIT Climate-KIC. Prior to joining Climate-KIC’s executive team, he was head of Climate and Environment at the Overseas Development Institute, and a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. Tom has served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group II coordinating lead author of the Special Report on Extreme Events and Disasters; and was a lead author of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report. He has a PhD from University College London on national level strategy planning for strengthening resilience to extreme events.

 
Location
Articles you may be interested in
Opinion
Can we identify the tipping points for transformative climate action?
Susannah Fisher Strategic Research Lead, EIT Climate-KIC
Can we identify the tipping points for transformative climate action?
In The News
Study launched on decarbonising Europe’s heavy industries by 2050

Industry representatives, regional experts, academics and EU officials held...

Study launched on decarbonising Europe’s heavy industries by 2050
In our community
Interview with Yvon Slingenberg of DG Climate Action, European Commission
Interview with Yvon Slingenberg of DG Climate Action, European Commission
In Detail
Evaluating the benefits of improved cooking solutions: impact data in high r...

Gold Standard today released a research study by Vivid Economics that estimates the economic value of Gold Standard-certified project benefits related to climate, health,...

Evaluating the benefits of improved cooking solutions: impact data in high resolution
In The News
New EIT Climate-KIC supported report proposes basis for a future EU taxonomy i...

The European Commission has welcomed the publication of the...

New EIT Climate-KIC supported report proposes basis for a future EU taxonomy in legislation
In The News
WCEF 2019: The challenges and potentials of circular procurement in cities

Increasing population growth and urbanisation intensifies the pressure on...

WCEF 2019: The challenges and potentials of circular procurement in cities
In The News
First round of 15 winners of Reinventing Cities competition announced

C40 Cities and EIT Climate-KIC have announced 15 winners...

First round of 15 winners of Reinventing Cities competition announced
In The News
Lisbon’s City Finance Lab-backed green participatory budget awarded €5 mil...

Lisbon City Council’s first-ever ‘green’ participatory budget, an initiative...

Lisbon’s City Finance Lab-backed green participatory budget awarded €5 million for next cycle
In The News
WCEF 2019: ‘The circular economy in cities’

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop emphasised the importance of...

WCEF 2019: ‘The circular economy in cities’
In Detail
New Report on Circular Procurement in public construction projects shows how...

Public procurement affects a substantial share of world trade, amounting to more than €1.3 trillion per year. In the EU, the public purchase of...

New Report on Circular Procurement in public construction projects shows how targeted action can drive system-level impact
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC at World Circular Economy Forum 2019

EIT Climate-KIC is playing a prominent role at the...

EIT Climate-KIC at World Circular Economy Forum 2019
In The News
17 EIT Climate-KIC solutions included in MI 100 Global High Impact listing

13 EIT Climate-KIC Accelerator start-ups and four EIT Climate-KIC...

17 EIT Climate-KIC solutions included in MI 100 Global High Impact listing
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC’s global cleantech competition ClimateLaunchpad is open ...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business ideas...

EIT Climate-KIC’s global cleantech competition ClimateLaunchpad is open for registration
Opinion
Transformation Capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
Dominic Hofstetter Transformation Capital, EIT Climate-KIC
Transformation Capital: A new investment logic for catalysing systems change
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported SkyNRG develops Europe’s first sustainable jet...

SkyNRG announced plans to develop Europe's first sustainable aviation...

EIT Climate-KIC supported SkyNRG develops Europe’s first sustainable jet fuel production plant
Opinion
Collaboration is hard!
Ulrike Linnig Innovation Lead, DACH, EIT Climate-KIC
Collaboration is hard!
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported report shows how to reduce industrial CO2 emissions

A new joint report, published by RWTH Aachen University...

EIT Climate-KIC supported report shows how to reduce industrial CO2 emissions
In The News
London event showcases innovation behind new investor climate tool

Yesterday’s event, titled “Applying Climate Risk Data to Investment...

London event showcases innovation behind new investor climate tool
In our community
Interview with Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, Spain
Interview with Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, Spain
Opinion
Adapting to climate change in Europe: Building a systemic and urgent vision
Susannah Fisher, EIT Climate-KIC and Andrew Norton, IIED
Adapting to climate change in Europe: Building a systemic and urgent vision
In our community
Interview with Andrzej Wiszniewski, President of the Board, National Energy ...
Interview with Andrzej Wiszniewski, President of the Board, National Energy Conservation Agency Poland
In The News
FEED-X programme aims to transform global feed industry

Supported by EIT Climate-KIC, global feed supplier Skretting, WWF...

FEED-X programme aims to transform global feed industry
In The News
New reports say net-zero emission EU heavy industry by 2050 is achievable

Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 for European energy-intensive industries...

New reports say net-zero emission EU heavy industry by 2050 is achievable
In The News
Five EIT Climate-KIC startups announced as Cleantech Innovate finalists

Five EIT Climate-KIC supported startups are among the 30...

Five EIT Climate-KIC startups announced as Cleantech Innovate finalists
In The News
Drawdown book: Global warming is reversible

Climate protection initiative gives a preview of the German...

Drawdown book: Global warming is reversible
In The News
International effort launched to determine best CO2 capture & utilisation ...

Economic and environmental guidelines will support new industries and...

International effort launched to determine best CO2 capture & utilisation technologies
In Detail
New report cements wood as the future of construction

In a new report, 25 examples of using wood in construction showcase that reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings is not only possible,...

New report cements wood as the future of construction
In The News
Transatlantic bridge for European innovation: EIT Community opens its first Hu...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) opened...

Transatlantic bridge for European innovation: EIT Community opens its first Hub in Silicon Valley
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Beyond Ratings registered as credit rating agency by...

EIT Climate-KIC supported firm Beyond Ratings, a financial services...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Beyond Ratings registered as credit rating agency by European Securities and Markets Authority
In our community
Interview with Nico Wolf, CFO, Endless Energy – Winner of the EIT Climate-...
Interview with Nico Wolf, CFO, Endless Energy – Winner of the EIT Climate-KIC Finance Incubator Competition