PL-1 :: Climate change mitigation and adaptation

Climate change is considered as more and more serious problem in Poland. Particularly floods (especially so called urban floods) and extreme temperatures as well as droughts are phenomena which require activities both in the sphere of mitigation and adaptation. For 30 big Polish cities (above 100 thous. inhabitants) climate change adaptation plans will be worked out in the next 1-2 years basing on general guidelines presented by the Polish Ministry of Environment. But there is also a need for looking at the problem in the country scale. It should be underlined that the registered losses connected with the climate changes during 2001 – 2010 years had amount of 54 billions Polish new zlotys. In case of doing-nothing the possible in future costs of losses are estimated on about 86 billions Polish new zlotys until 2020 and additional 119 billions Polish new zlotys during 2021-2030.
Methods of climate change mitigation include i.a. increase of forest/green areas. In Poland there is a problem of CO2 emission and it is considered to use the technology of loading CO2 into underground post-mining excavations. There is a need of research on the efficiency of various technologies and solutions aiming at climate change mitigation in the country scale. It can show up that e.g. planting trees/ increasing forests area would be more effective and could bring additional positive effects such as better living conditions (decreasing of heat waves in urban areas, keeping humidity etc. contributing to climate change adaptation).
Land management can be a strong instrument supporting development and implementation of counteracting negative phenomena in urban areas. Space is a limited resource. It should be used rationally, the land management should avoid extensive use of land. It results in urban sprawl. We should also use the land in coherence with climate change adaptation. For instance in Poland there are plans for housing areas exceeding significantly the needs. It has been estimated that we have housing areas in plans for about 130 mln and for the nearest 300 years.
Specific research questions:

Balancing between demand and use of the resources is weak. The demand is not estimated, therefore too much resources is used (networks, infrastructure, significant fragmentation). Such a balance would be a basis for new policies. How much land do we need?
Natural capital
Climate change adaptation solutions use ecosystems approach in urban planning. The ecosystem approach acknowledges the equal importance of both environmental and anthropogenic components in urban areas. These components are integrated into the circulation of water, air and other elements necessary for the city to function and they also provide equally important services for the city’s inhabitants.
How to use ecosystem serivices approach in urban planning aiming at climate change adaptation?
Land management
There is a need to work out land management instruments supporting climate change adaptation in urban areas.
How to adapt to climate change by an appropriate urban land planning and management ?
What kind of legal and economic instruments would support land management efficiency? (e.g. possibilities of use of frozen areas inside the city – in order to counteract extensive use of land inside the city).
There is a need for new methods of land use planning. Land use planning theory is necessary. The land use plan should look different than it used to look. Today there is a play of interests and the local self-government is just one of the players. Investors dictate conditions, otherwise they go somewhere else.
How climate change adaptation measures will contribute to decreasing negative effects of climate change?