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Climate adaptation time is running out

Climate adaptation time is running out

Similar high water disaster like last year In southern Limburg it will be more dramatic in central Holland. Municipalities must do more work to adapt to the climate.

Not only Limburg, but also parts of Germany and Belgium were hit by massive floods last July. Soon, rushing streams and rivers turned into a turbulent stream of water carrying cars and household items and devour buildings and roads.

Primary Flood Defenses

Heavy rain with far-reaching consequences. But Research by the Deltares Water Institute It shows that the damage would be several times greater in the event of a similar disaster at Randstad. Primary flood defenses can fail.

The message is that our country must better prepare for the intense rain. We need stress tests for water infrastructure, better systems for forecasting and monitoring, and targeted spatial policies – especially not to build in sensitive areas.

The institutes of knowledge and water consultancy have recently introduced Climate damage estimator† On the basis of this tool for municipalities and water boards, the Federation of Water Boards has calculated the potential damage caused by floods, droughts and heat in our country. 174 billion euros In 2050, mainly on behalf of individuals.

the clock is ticking

One recent report The IPCC also states that countries are not doing enough about climate adaptation. The committee warns that the clock is ticking.

More is needed in order to adapt to the climate, according to the Federation of Dutch Municipalities (VNG). at position paper The umbrella organization urges the municipalities to tackle the problem in a more orderly manner.

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Last month, the environmental organization Natuur en Milieu was still criticizing that municipalities are doing too little about the progress of fossilization. Green standards can contribute to creating a public space that is better equipped for a different climate.

Despite the subject matter, VNG analyzes, adaptation to climate has not yet been firmly entrenched in spatial planning, in the construction department, or in local energy transition policy. Instead of individual projects, it is time to link climate adaptation with other ambitions in environmental plans and environmental visions.

critical finger

It also points fingers at the government. According to VNG, the government is not making enough efforts to make the necessary knowledge available to local and regional authorities. Small municipalities in particular need better objective support.

Municipalities otherwise threaten their previous obligations in Spatial adaptation of a delta plan Unattainable, VNG concerns. National guidelines should also be developed to make construction of climate-resistant homes non-binding. Many municipalities may try to encourage climate-resilient building with target regulations, but this does not help enough.

Housing and Spatial Planning Minister De Jonge will soon come up with plans to give a pendulum for climate-resistant construction, he wrote in the paper. Answer Parliamentary Questions† was the reason crucial advice By Delta Commissioner Peter Glass. It is expected that four-fifths of the million homes that the Cabinet wants to build before 2030 are in areas prone to flooding with soft soils.

This worries the Commission. De Jonge is working on a national scale that should explain what a climate-resilient building is. In the coalition agreement It states that water and soil should become leaders in spatial planning.

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Ban construction plans

Municipalities can use climate adaptation policy as an argument to ban conflicting building plans. like him Rule The State Council recently found that Amsterdam rightly rejected a single-person building plan in the over-built De Pijp district of deepening a basement and building a rooftop swimming pool.

According to the administrative judges, undermining the soil undermines the ability to store water, both to collect rainwater and to absorb groundwater flows. In the relevant zoning plan, the municipality focuses on reducing the total area of ​​buildings in courtyard gardens.

Expensive solutions

Funding is still a major stumbling block. And at speeds of up to tens of millions of euros. The risk of additional costs remains high, according to research conducted by the trade association Nl Engineers last year. Additional project costs can be up to 30 percent.

This is mainly because municipalities opt for relatively expensive solutions, such as underground water storage. In the meantime, the benefits are not solid.