Fourteen Dutch knowledge organisations have joined forces to provide government bodies and companies in the Netherlands and abroad with better policy advice on adapting to the enormous challenges posed by climate change.

Today, they signed agreements to establish the Netherlands Consortium on Climate Change Adaptation (CCCA). The consortium will integrate knowledge and expertise from various sectors and disciplines. This will allow them to respond more effectively to the complex policy questions raised by rapid warming and in the context of global sustainable development goals.

Direct and indirect impacts of climate change

According to the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the world will need to adjust to serious consequences of global warming: rising sea levels, extreme heat, droughts, storms and extreme rainfall. Indirect consequences will affect all sectors of society: from spatial planning and infrastructure to banks and insurance companies, from agriculture and food security to safety and public health, from economic development and tourism to global migration.

All these indirect consequences, like possible adaptation measures, will influence each other as well. Adaptation measures tailored to one sector (such as water management) may work out less favourably in different sectors (such as agriculture or public health). Adaptations on a national scale, such as major water infrastructure projects, may cause problems on a local scale.

For this reason, there is a great need for policy advice that combines and integrates knowledge from different fields, sectors and government levels. Smarter advice could bring measures that reinforce rather than weaken each other. Those could tie in more closely with the needs of governments and companies in the Netherlands and Europe, as well as those in Asian, African and American countries that will be greatly affected by global warming while having much fewer resources.

Over the coming decades, global investments in well-substantiated adaptation projects will involve many hundreds of billions of Euros.

CCCA: a broad coalition of experts

The CCCA brings together a wide spectrum of experts and disciplines. The growing list of consortium members and partners includes leading Dutch universities, institutes and companies that focus on climate change. All these members and partners collaborate with colleagues abroad, which considerably increases the knowledge consortium’s reach even more.

The consortium will found its work on eight themes and cross-cutting issues, which vary from water management, infrastructure and urban planning to public health, finances, law and governance.

At its launch the consortium involves fourteen organisations, a number that will grow in coming years. Seven of them will give the consortium formal shape by means of a ‘field office’ that will create joint projects. Within these projects, the field office will ensure that knowledge and practical experience of the various partners, sectors and disciplines will be combined, integrated and tailored to the needs of local and national governments, companies and NGOs, both in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.

The following organisations have joined the consortium as members:

  • Climate-KIC Benelux (part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology)
  • KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute)
  • KWR Watercycle Research Institute
  • NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
  • RIVM (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment)
  • University of Twente (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation)
  • Utrecht University (consortium co-ordinator)

The following organisations have signed on as associated partners:

  • Climate Adaptation Services (CAS)
  • FutureWater
  • HydroLogic
  • Rabobank
  • Sweco Nederland
  • TNO
  • Weather Impact