Fourteen Dutch knowledge institutes have joined forces to provide practical, demand-driven policy advice based on climate change adaptation. Today, in Utrecht, the agreement of the establishment of the Netherlands Consortium on Climate Change Adaptation (CCCA) was signed. CCCA aims to provide more effective approaches to the challenges that countries, regions, cities and business communities are facing because of rapid climate change. This consortium will integrate knowledge and expertise from different sectors and integrate disciplines to better match the complex policy issues that trigger rapid warming, also in the light of UN Global Sustainable Development goals.
As the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement acknowledged, countries and communities around the world need to begin focussing efforts and resources on adapting to the fact that our planet will continue to warm up. They will have to prepare for rising sea levels and increasingly frequent severe weather events such as droughts, heat waves, wildfires, storms, heavy precipitation and flooding. However, more indirect effects of climate change will extend much further. The warming climate will set off a wide array of multi-layered disruptions with far-reaching consequences, including in areas such as agriculture, finance, governance, spatial planning, public health, demographics, security, infrastructure, biodiversity and (social) economics. Hundreds of billions of euros will need to be invested in properly designed ways to make communities and infrastructures more resilient to change. The knowledge community must ensure that governments, businesses and NGOs from all over the world, including those in low- and middleincome countries, get access to what they need most: sound policy advice based on the best available knowledge, not from separate sectors and disciplines but from the totality of what engineering and natural and social sciences have to offer.
CCCA is a broad coalition of Dutch knowledge centres, dedicated to providing multisectoral, integrated, practical knowledge and expertise on climate change adaptation. The growing list of participants in the consortium includes Dutch leading research and knowledge centres and companies. In addition, all participants work together with colleagues abroad, which significantly increases the scope of the knowledge consortium.
The consortium begins its work based on eight themes ranging from water management, infrastructure and urban planning to public health, governance and finance. At the start, the knowledge consortium includes fourteen organisations, a number that will grow in the coming years. Seven of them will give the consortium a head start with a field office for advisory projects. In these projects the knowledge and practical experience of the different participants, sectors and disciplines will be integrated, and adapted for application by national and local authorities, companies and NGOs in the Netherlands and in the rest of the world.