Episode 5

Beating the heat: Europe prepares for climate change impacts

In Europe and beyond, the summer of 2022 is hot. Very hot. A runway at a London airport melted in the heat and from Paris to Warsaw the grass in parks turned dry and yellow. The Rhine – the river flowing through Rotterdam, Köln and Strasbourg – is running dry. This is the same river that catastrophically flooded a year ago, destroying towns in Germany and Belgium. The impact of climate change on urban areas in Europe is unmistakable.

On one of those days when the temperature hit 30 degrees, the “Green Deal – Big Deal?” podcast host Ewa Iwaszuk from Ecologic Institute in Berlin speaks with her guests about the climate change impacts in cities and especially about the EU's plans on how to adapt to and better deal with those impacts. The discussion focuses on the possibilities that nature offers to help us cope with challenges such as heat and flooding. 

Our interview guests:

Jenny Tröltzsch, a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and an expert in climate adaptation, gives us insights into the EU Adaptation Strategy. We ask her if she thinks that the strategy is fit for purpose and discuss the possibilities and challenges that the different aspects of the strategy bring with it.

One of the key priorities of the EU Adaptation Strategy is promoting nature-based solutions for climate adaptation. We talk to McKenna Davis, a Senior Fellow at Ecologic Institute and an expert on biodiversity and nature-based solutions, about the possibilities that such ecosystems provide to improve well-being and livability in urban areas affected by heat waves and intense rainfall.

Insights on what is happening at the local level are provided by Tomasz Bergier. Tomasz is a professor at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków and vice president of the Sendzimir Foundation, an NGO promoting sustainable urban development in Polish cities. He reports on innovative approaches in Polish cities, such as pocket parks and rain gardens in Kraków. We also address the obstacles cities face in implementing novel climate adaptation activities.

Listen now

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Our interview guests

Relevant links & documents

Addressing Climate Change in Cities – Catalogue of urban nature-based solutions

Urban Nature Atlas

Urban Governance Atlas – Call for Contributions

European Commission's information portal on the EU Adaptation Strategy

Would you like to learn more?

Are you interested in environmental issues or European policy? Would you like to understand what the European Green Deal is and how will it impact our lives in the years to come? Check out other episodes of our podcast.

Webinar Series

 Listening is nice, but not enough for you? You are in luck! In addition to the podcast series, we are organizing a series of eight online events, targeting young Europeans aged 18-35. Enter the dialogue with us and our invited experts. We are keen to hear your questions, suggestions and ideas and discuss them together.