Attention on climate adaptation during VNG conference in Maastricht

The theme of this year’s annual conference of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), held on 26 June 2018, was “Across Borders”. Ample attention was paid to climate change and climate adaptation. Before an audience of more than 3000 administrators, climate reporter Bernice Notenboom gave a presentation on her four polar expeditions and what she has observed regarding climate change. Subsequently, day chair Twan Huys interviewed Delta Programme Commissioner Wim Kuijken on what needs to be done in the Netherlands and what has already been accomplished to prepare our country for the potential impact of this climate change.

 ‘It is getting warmer, drier, but also wetter in the Netherlands. The urgency for municipalities to embark on spatial adaptation is increasing. A stress test is helpful in this respect. Ensure that you have mapped out your vulnerabilities by no later than 2019 and take measures, so that you are prepared for weather extremes,’ Wim Kuijken advised the more than 3000 administrators.

Last year, the first Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation was presented. It set out agreements on how the central government, municipalities, provinces, and district water boards are joining forces in order to prepare our country for the future. A great deal has already been set in motion, but we need to do much more. The tasking is urgent.

In addition to Bernice Notenboom and Wim Kuijken, the plenary session of the VNG conference featured Tommy Wieringa, mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake of Maastricht, and André Rieu as speakers. The conference will run up to and including Wednesday, 27 June.