Ihobe in Finland to take part in the launch of Regions4Climate, the EU project for coastal adaptation in the Basque Country


The Basque Country is a leading region in Europe in climate change mitigation and adaptation. That is endorsed by important initiatives such as the LIFE IP Urban Klima 2050 and Kostaegoki, the risk and vulnerability assessment of the Basque coast to climate change. They are all proof of the innovative and trailblazing work of the Basque Government through Ihobe, its environmental management agency. The Basque Country's important role is yet again at the fore with its participation in the EU Regions4Climate project.

Under the slogan ‘creating resilient communities’, the end goal of this new project is to improve climate resilience, with the participation of 12 regions in which pilot schemes will be run to develop and test their own transformative adaptation plans and pathways. Within this framework, the Basque Country will be able to share its experiences and learn from the actions performed by the other selected regions during the coming five years of the project.

The Basque participation at the launch meeting held in Finland yet again highlighted its focus on adaptation. During a 'workshop' on how each of the 12 participating regions are conducting the risk and vulnerability assessment of climate impacts, it was seen that the Basque region has the more comprehensive approach to the threats taken into consideration for climate planning and adaptation. 

Regions4Climate will seek to develop and validate resilience solutions that include innovative technologies, their integration and their application in combination with new business models and innovative policies. Specifically, the Basque pilot project will take place in the Bay of Txingudi and will consist of nature-based interventions for coastal adaptation. The impact of the rising sea level will thus be reduced in the zone, by regenerating it and increasing its capacity for carbon capture.

Continental participation by climate challenges

The 12 pilot regions that will take part in Regions4Climate are the Basque Country, Nouvelle-Aquitaine (France), Azores (Portugal), Tuscany (Italy), Køge Bay (Denmark), Burgas (Bulgaria), Helsinki-Uusimaa (Finland), Pärnumaa (Estonia), Eastern Crete (Greece), Castilla y León (Spain), Nordic Archipelago (Finlandia, Åland and Sweden) and Troodos (Republic of Cyprus) They are all working divided into three clusters, according to the climate challenge they are facing and their adaptation level. The Basque Country will be the 'front runner' region of its 'Faster Adaptation' cluster and focused on the risks along the coast. The other members will be Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Tuscany and the Azores.

The Basque representation of the Regions4Climate consortium is led by the Basque Ministry for Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment and Ihobe – its environmental management agency -, along with the AZTI, Tecnalia Research and Innovation and Zabala Innovation Consulting, technology centres that will provide their extensive experience to support other European regions to better understand the complexity of climate risks and apply the lessons learnt from other benchmark regions.

The Regions4Climate project, coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, brings together 44 partners from 13 different European countries to demonstrate innovations to improve society's resilience to the effects of climate change, in keeping with the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal. Based on intersectoral strategies created by and for people, the project's partners will work together to develop and apply innovative environmental, governance, business, digital, technological and social solutions to strengthen the adaptation capacity and minimise vulnerability to climate impacts.

The project, which will run for 5 years and begin in January 2023, has received a total subsidy of €24,522,103 from the European Commission as part of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, which addresses 'Large-scale demonstrators of climate resilience creating cross-border value' as per Agreement No. 101093873 HORIZON-MISS-2021-CLIMA-02-04.