Mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation action in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) is one of the key thematic focus areas falling under the CBSS long-term priority Sustainable and Prosperous Region. While climate change is one of the most pressing global challenges, it has very local effects. CBSS Climate Change Dialogue facilitates cooperation between CBSS Member States, the Baltic Sea sub-regional organisations, research, civil society and youth in order to pool knowledge, experiences and resources as well as exchange of information and best practices on mainstreaming climate change adaptation action on a regional and local level. It provides a space for political dialogue and practical cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region via concrete joint initiatives and/or projects focusing on the development of awareness, preparedness and capacity building on the most urgent climate change challenges facing the region.
The issue in the BSR context
Between 2016 and 2021, the CBSS coordinated the Horizontal Action Climate of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). From January 2021, climate was mainstreamed into all policy areas of the EUSBSR. The main objectives of the HA Climate of the EUSBSR were to achieve a low-emission region which is resilient to the climate change and mainstream climate into sector policies.
The role of the CBSS
CBSS continues to encourage and facilitate multilevel policy dialogue and practical cooperation involving national and local authorities, business and research community, youth organisations, as well other pan-Baltic actors on climate and other issues under frameworks of the EUSBSR and the Baltic 2030 Action Plan.
- CBSS Baltic 2030 Action Plan – “Climate-related issues remain a central concern in the Baltic Sea Region, and will continue to be a special area of priority … work on the issue of climate change should reflect the integration of mitigation and adaptation issues, which requires enhanced regional cooperation, especially in the area of increasing climate change adaptation and resilience”.
- 2023 Wismar Declaration – “The Council reaffirmed the commitment of its members to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. It encouraged its members to contribute continuously to an ambitious, urgent and comprehensive implementation of these goals, through existing and future Baltic Sea Region mechanisms and platforms, including inter alia the Baltic 2030 Action Plan…”.
- 2021 Vilnius II Declaration: A Vision for the Baltic Sea Region by 2030 – “The Region has in line with UN Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement and the Baltic 2030 Action Plan, taken resolute steps, including de-carbonisation, towards climate neutrality and to climate resilience of key economic sectors, including industry, transport and construction, as well as enhancement of natural sinks, such as forests. The introduction of a circular economy and increased generation, exchange and use of clean and renewable energy have significantly reduced the negative ecological footprint in the Region. The green and blue economy is based on innovation, creates jobs and ensures competitiveness”.
- CliMaLoc 2021-2023 – The Climate Mainstreaming Locally in the Baltic Sea Region (CliMaLoc) project funded by the Swedish Institute supported the capacity building of local authorities in the BSR countries in mainstreaming climate change adaptation action as well as providing a dialogue platform for establishing partnerships for cooperation in this field in the future. The project developed the “Handbook for Local Climate Change Adaptation Planning in the Baltic Sea Region”, which provides a 10-step guidance for local authorities to engage in local climate change adaptation planning. The CliMaLoc partnership is working on a follow-up project development, also based on the input of local stakeholders and the outcomes of the CASCADE project.
- Handbook for Local Climate Change Adaptation Planning in the Baltic Sea Region (2023)
- The Role of Local Governments in Adapting to the Climate: A Regulatory Requirements and Support Mechanisms Overview (2019)
- Baltic Sea Region Climate Partnerships (2017)
- Climate, Energy and Sustainable Development in the BSR – A Sector Study (2016)
- Energy Efficiency in the Baltic Sea Region (2015)
Facts and Figures
Since 2016 altogether 10 BSR Climate Policy Dialogue Platform Round-table meetings have been held involving representatives from ministries, government agencies, business, academia, and pan-Baltic organizations like HELCOM, VASAB, BSSSC, CPMR, UBC, Baltic Earth, BUP etc.
The Baltadapt project, financed under the INTERREG IV B Baltic Sea Programme 2007-2013, produced an adaptation strategy for the Region, which was accompanied by guidelines and a non-binding action plan. The Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region and its accompanying Action Plan were officially launched and presented during the Baltadapt project Conference in Riga, Latvia, 3-4 September 2013.
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