The National Climate Change Adaptation Plan is a national planning instrument to help national, regional and local institutions identify and select the most effective adaptation actions based on government level, area of action and specific context. This fosters integration of adaptation criteria into planning processes and instruments.
Italy in the Mediterranean hotspot
Climate change represents one of the biggest challenges facing us today and in the future, both at a global level and in Italy. Italy is located in what has been coined as the “Mediterranean hotspot”, an area identified as especially vulnerable to climate change (source: IPCC). Its national territory is notably prone to natural hazards (instability phenomena, floods, coastal erosion, water scarcity), which are already being exacerbated by temperature increases and the intensification of climate-related extreme events (drought, heat waves, winds, heavy rains, etc.). The economic, social and environmental impacts of these hazards are destined to grow over the next decades.
It is clear that, as stated in the NAP written by the Ministry in collaboration with the Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), there is an “importance in implementing adaptation actions in the territory to face the hazards of climate change. Since the issue cuts across all aspects of development, the planning of adequate actions requires a solid base of knowledge on the phenomena, an optimum organisational context, and governance across multiple levels and sectors”.
The stance of the European Union
In 2021, the European Commission presented the new Adaptation Strategy [COM(2021) 82 final of 25 February 2021 – Forging a climate-resilient Europe - The new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change], which replaces the previous Strategy dating back to 2013. Pre-announced in the European Green Deal, the new strategy aims to transform Europe into a climate change-resilient Union by 2050 and is built around four priorities: Smarter, faster and more systemic and integrated adaptation, as well as intensification of international action.
The Commission reiterates the importance of national adaptation strategies and plans and urges States to optimise and further develop them. On its part, the Commission will support the development and implementation at all levels of governance, structuring the approach around three cross-cutting priorities: integrating adaptation into macro-fiscal policies, nature-based solutions for adaptation, and local adaptation actions.
The goals outlined in the European Strategy are bolstered by the European Climate Law [Reg. (EU) 2021/1119 of 30 June 2021] which, by integrating the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2030 Agenda into EU Law, provides for the adoption and implementation of national adaptation strategies and plans by member States, taking into account the EU adaptation strategy [art. 5( 9) of Reg. (EU) 2021/1119].
Activities of the MASE for the National Plan
The Ministry of the Environment and Energetic Safety (MASE) has assimilated the directives of the EU and undertaken substantial adaptation actions. Among these are the launch of the National Adaptation Platform and the implementation of the efforts initiated in 2017 towards the adoption of a national adaptation plan.
The main goal of the NCCAP is to provide a national framework for the implementation of actions aimed at reducing the hazards from climate change as much as possible, improving the adaptive capacity of socio-economic and natural systems, and leveraging any opportunities arising from new climate conditions.
Tools of the NCCAP
The NCCAP provides a common base of data, information and analytical methodologies that will help define sector-specific and/or local pathways for climate change adaptation. The purpose is to keep vulnerability to climate impacts in check, increase climate change resilience, and improve chances of exploiting any opportunities.
The proposed Plan has been published by the MASE on its portal, giving citizens and public and private stakeholders the opportunity to give their contribution in accordance with article 13, paragraph 5 of Italian Legislative Decree 152/2006.
Pursuant to article 14, the consultation will last 45 days, commencing on 16 February 2023, the date the public notification was published.
The proposed plan, environmental report and non-technical summary of the environmental report are available at the link: https://va.mite.gov.it/it-IT/Oggetti/Documentazione/7726/11206, the SEA - EIA - IPPC permit portal of the MASE.