New regional partnership accelerates climate change adaptation in Denmark

​Who should pay for climate change adaptation in Denmark? And how is it possible to cooperate on watercourses that do not respect municipal borders? A new initiative from the Capital Region of Denmark will help answer these questions.

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Damage after flooding is expensive for society and citizens, and in the Greater Copenhagen Area alone, damage from rising water levels could amount to more than DKK 20 billion* (EUR 2.7 billion). So there is good reason to adapt to a changed climate.

Unfortunately, many climate change adaptation projects fail, because no agreement can be reached about who is to pay for the solution, and how to finance it. A new project will help address this problem:

"We know that individual properties often get into a jam and cannot master the task of climate change adaptation alone. I'm therefore pleased that we have joined forces with a number of municipalities in the Greater Copenhagen Area to resolve this problem, so together we can help citizens in the region and in the rest of Denmark," said chair of Committee for the Environment and Climate in the Capital Region of Denmark, Kim Rockhill.

The project has been given the title Klimatilpasning på tværs (climate change adaptation across borders). The parties in the project will work on developing specific models for how costs of climate change adaptation projects can be allocated – both along rivers and coastlines. The project will also suggest ideas for how a coast and climate fund could be organised to make it cheaper to finance expensive climate change adaptation solutions in the long term.

Across municipal borders

Cooperation across municipal borders is also the focus of the new project, which includes Brøndby Municipality.

"Brøndby Municipality has a long tradition of cooperating with our neighbouring municipalities. It is therefore only natural that we are part of the project. We know that we are challenged by a changed climate, with rising sea levels and increased risks of flooding. And we have to find a common solution across coastal municipalities in the southern part of the Sound," said Vagn Kjær-Hansen, chair for the Technical and Environmental Committee in Brøndby Municipality.

But climate problems do not only impact the coast. The municipalities around the catchment area of Værebro Å (a river) are also well aware that they are facing a common challenge that needs to be addressed.

Egedal Municipality in particular has been challenged by rising water levels. 
"On behalf of the cooperation I already have with stakeholder organisations and municipalities near Værebro Å, I'm pleased that the Capital Region of Denmark will now be supporting the continued work on finding solutions to reduce the recurring flooding in the river valley.  This is a huge step in the right direction," said Bo Vesth, chair of the Technical and Environmental Committee in Egedal Municipality.

Kim Rockhill concluded: "I'm certain that the Capital Region of Denmark can help lead the way in climate change adaptation. It's important that we help citizens with climate change adaptation, so they aren’t alone. Furthermore, I look forward to seeing good examples of how municipalities can work together across municipal borders to serve as inspiration for other municipalities. And not least to develop specific suggestions for how the costs of climate change adaptation solutions can be allocated between citizens and public authorities. My hope is that this project can help accelerate a climate-friendly Denmark."

Facts:

The Klimatilpasning på tværs project will develop specific models for how costs of climate change adaptation projects can be allocated. The project will also suggest ideas for how a coast and climate fund could be organised to make it cheaper to finance expensive climate change adaptation solutions in the long term.

The project will run from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021, and the Capital Region of Denmark has granted DKK 3 million (EUR 400,500), whereas the other partners will contribute labour and/or financial resources.

The partners behind the project are:

  • The municipalities of Ballerup, Brøndby, Egedal, Fredensborg, Frederikssund, Furesø, Gladsaxe, Herlev, Hvidovre, Ishøj, Copenhagen, Roskilde and Vallensbæk.
  • Rudersdal Municipality on behalf of municipalities in NOVAFOS
  • The Nordkystens Fremtid (future of the north coast) project (contributing experience regarding allocation of resources)
  • The water utility company NOVAFOS
  • The University of Copenhagen
  • The Danish Insurance Association
  • The Danish Coastal Authority
  • The Capital Region of Denmark
  • The Technical University of Denmark (DTU)
In addition, the Technical University of Denmark, CONCITO, HOFOR and Region Zealand will monitor the project, and an expected new national climate change adaptation network will be offered a seat in the monitoring group.
An agreement has been made with Brøndby Municipality and Egedal Municipality to perform a secretariat function for each case area during the project period.

For more information

  • Contact details the Capital Region of Denmark: Kim Rockhill: +45 24412593
  • Contact details Egedal Municipality: Bo Vesth: +45 60354027
  • Contact details Municipality of Brøndby: Vagn Kjær-Hansen: +45 60612284

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