Climate change adaptation is recognised as one of the most pressing environmental challenges of the 21st Century. How National Governments and Europe react to, and develop plans for climate change adaptation in a post Paris Agreement era is of utmost importance. Europe can and should lead by example in this field. Climate change adaptation is inextricably linked to the need to protect and enhance our natural environment. In particular, the protection of our seas and oceans from the adverse impacts of climate change. However, one must also recognise that environmental protection cannot be divorced from the need to ensure economic and social prosperity and development. Urgent action is needed given the state of development and adoption of the sustainable development goals on the global stage, as well as at the development and publication of the circular economy action plan at a European level. Therefore, our challenge is to act and take concrete steps towards delivering effective sustainable growth, whilst ensuring that economic development does not come at the cost of our natural environment upon which our economies rely.
Over the course of two days, we wish to examine two of the most pressing environmental topics at the moment; namely climate change and the transition to the circular economy. Within this context we aim to develop a high level discussion on how we address climate change adaptation post Paris; how climate and environmental policy interact in the context of the marine environment; and how environmental issues, such as marine litter, can shape economic policy and output.