As the climate changes, actors on all levels and in all sectors will be affected. Thus it is imperative that authorities, municipalities, businesses and individual property owners all take action.
Flooding, heat waves, landslides and erosion are only a few examples of the challenges that that society faces and needs to prepare for. Sweden must adapt to the impacts of a changing climate, as well as the indirect effects of climate change impacts in other parts of the world.
The costs of adaptation can be high, but the European Commission, among others, has deemed that it still pays to adapt in relation to the costs incurred if no action is taken.
Climate adaptation initiatives in Sweden have advanced significantly in recent years. Notable examples include governmental missions for a national elevation database, landslide risk mapping in the Göta Älv River Valley, the Swedish drinking water investigation, the County Administrative Boards’ regional climate change action plans, and the establishment of the National Knowledge Centre for Climate Adaptation.
The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute’s mission to survey, analyse and follow-up on climate adaptation work in Sweden has shown that there is still a considerable need for further measures. This report provides proposals for a road map for climate adaptation in Sweden and concludes that climate adaptation is best conducted in a long-term manner, that roles and responsibilities should be made more transparent, and that better coordination among the many actors involved in climate adaptation is necessary.
The most important conclusions for continued work are:
- Laws and regulations need to be adapted; roles and responsibilities as well as strategies and goals should be made clearer.
- Priority and funding should be given to research and development measures that fill an identified knowledge-gap, including long-term monitoring.
- Knowledge and decision support as well as prognoses and warning systems should be more accessible.
- There is a need to outline how the costs of adaptation should be distributed among actors and how resources for prioritised measures can be guaranteed.
This mission has compiled knowledge of the current and future risks and consequences for society of a changing climate, such as effects on vital societal functions and human health. The mission has also surveyed the work that has been done since the publication of the final report of the Swedish Commission on Climate and Vulnerability in 2007. From this background material our goal has been to describe the gaps and challenges and provide suggestions for how adaptation can be approached in various sectors of society. The EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change has been an important point of departure. The work has been performed in cooperation with national and regional authorities, municipalities, researchers, sectoral organisations and representatives of the private sector.
This report is comprised of a main report and 18 annexes. Chapter 3 of the main report is a synthesis of all of the proposals made throughout the document and as such can be seen as a road map to ensure that Sweden adapts to a changing climate.