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Europe's Climate-Proofing Mission Enters a Fraught New Phase

The Adaptation Mission has a goal of creating 150 climate resilient regions by 2030. Revelations about Europe's climate vulnerability make this more urgent than ever

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  • The European Union’s Climate Change Adaptation Mission has a goal of climate-proofing at least 150 regions by 2030

  • It’s part of a 10-year series of European Missions, which are intended to cook up smart, innovative solutions to big, big problems

  • The Adaptation Mission’s third annual forum took place in May, where speakers highlighted the urgent need to accelerate action

  • The future of the Mission is clouded by the availability of finance to scale up adaptation solutions, and the outcome of the European elections taking place this week

There’s a mission underway, and it’s not one a fast-running, death-defying Tom Cruise can accomplish.

In fact, it’s a mission beyond the ability of any one person or organization — the climate-proofing of Europe.

This lame lede serves a purpose, I assure you. It’s because today’s article concerns the European Union’s Climate Change Adaptation Mission. As I’ve learned, this is not just a swanky title for a mundane bureaucratic exercise. It’s a whole philosophy of action designed to produce huge numbers of possible solutions to the climate adaptation problem — solutions that can bring societal and competitive benefits to the bloc and spark all kinds of innovations.

This particular mission is one of a set of five established under Horizon Europe 2030,  an EU-wide research and innovation initiative with a €95.5bn budget and 10-year time horizon. Its purpose is simple: to support EU regions, cities, and local authorities prepare and guard against current and future climate shocks.

It does so by helping them understand the climate risks they face, supporting the development of adaptation pathways, and deploying “on the ground innovative solutions.” The overarching goal is to support at least 150 of the 242 EU regions in becoming climate resilient by 2030.

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