Country

Croatia

Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Croatia.

Adaptation

Croatia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and has identified agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, energy, water resources and tourism as its adaptation priorities. Croatia has ratified the UNFCCC as an Annex 1 Country, and in 2015 also ratified the Hyogo Framework for Action and established a National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Croatia submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (2015) as a member to the European Union’s submission, and published its Sixth National Communication in 2014. The capacity of the Croatian state and wider society to adapt to climate change can be improved with sectoral adaptation strategies developed and mainstreamed across government planning departments. Current government strategies related to climate change in Croatia emphasize on mitigation, and there is little mention of the concept of adaptation. Croatia has made a firm commitment to reducing emissions by introducing a carbon fee, promoting renewable energy, encouraging energy efficiency, and committing to GHG reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. 

 

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Implementation of an integrated water resources management system and irrigation systems; improvement of irrigation-drainage systems; introduction of drought-resistant plant species; changes in cropping cycles, and monitoring for potential natural hazards.
  • Increasing the irrigated area of arable land in Croatia is likely to be necessary to maintain crop yields. In the long term, investment in further research is required to develop detailed, economically sound adaptation measures in this area, including the development of the agricultural education sector.
  • Finance projects focused on the development of populations and varieties adapted to soil types and climate conditions in Croatia's agricultural regions.
  • Investigate new systems of tillage, sowing (planting), sowing density, cultivation.
  • Information regarding the climate variability and projected future climate change should be provided to public utilities and energy generating facilities to enhance decision making and long-term resilience.
  • Improve capacity of energy systems to sustain cumulative impacts such as: the redundancy at peak periods; the sensitivity of regulators to climate change pressures on infrastructure and the possible need for redundant capacity; demand management and energy conservation strategies.  
  • Institutionalized measures for energy saving will allow decreasing consumption of primary energy, mainly natural gas.
  • Investments can be made in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, a high priority in terms of economy (decrease in costs for energy generation) and climate mitigation (decrease in volumes of greenhouse gas emissions).  Croatia is also actively working to promote biofuel production.
  • Health-care infrastructure needs to be upgraded to support more systemic climate change resilience. Capacity needs to be built to support adaptation to extreme weather events and support necessary response capacities. Health care system personnel are not fully aware of the relationship between climate change and variability and health impacts. A reduction in social vulnerability in underserved populations living in both, urban and rural areas should be a priority to support development and increase resiliency.
  • Early warning systems are needed to improve the country’s resilience by providing timely information on the atmospheric state and effects on public health and vector-borne diseases.
  • Monitoring and surveillance systems are not conducted at the right geographical and temporal scale that would allow observations of trends and make advance forecasts to direct interventions against climate sensitive diseases.
  • Develop the capacity to simulate the physical impacts of climate on the supply, distribution and quality of freshwater resources.
  • Improve ability to downscale global climate model results to the level of catchments, with results suitable for correlation with data from existing runoff gauges and weather stations used for monitoring.
  • Develop a national database and system of rainfall-runoff models to project the effects of rainfall changes (for climate variability and climate change) on runoff and discharges (including peak and low flows). This should be done in important river basins and catchments and linked to an expanded national runoff and flooding reporting system.
  • Map existing groundwater resources in a comprehensive fashion, and develop databases and models needed to simulate the effects of climate variability and climate change on groundwater recharge, storage and water quality.

Gaps and Needs

  • Gain a better understanding of the timing and magnitude of incidence of several important indicators of climate change in the future, as well as the key vulnerabilities, development impact, and possible adaptation responses.
  • Improve science-based understanding of the nature and magnitude of physical and biophysical climate change impacts under differing scenarios.
  • Widen the participation of the public, scientific institutions, women and local communities in planning and management, accounting for approaches and methods of gender equity.
  • Strengthen environmental monitoring capabilities for  more effective environmental management.
  • Improve existing surface and upper air meteorological network.
  • Improved data availability to estimate and prevent future damages from climate change to different sectors. This includes making data paid for by the public budget openly available.
  • Improved modelling of environmental and economic systems to understand the causal relationships of projected change and risks. The link between climate and economic systems still needs to be made within Croatia.
  • Develop early warning systems about dangerous hydrometeorological phenomena and climate risk management, specifically for riverine networks.
  • Improve coordination of activities across multi-disciplinary agencies and actors. Establish an inter-ministerial committee on climate change to deal with efforts in addressing vulnerability to climate and in mitigating Croatia’s emissions.
  • Integration of climate into planning. As sectoral plans are developed for the coming 20-30 years, climate and climate change should be incorporated as factors. This includes the development of physical plans on the coast to minimize the risk from sea-level rise, targeting subsidies in the agriculture sector to reduce climate vulnerability, physical planning and energy planning that will reduce emissions but also consider changing environmental conditions, being prepared to deal with health problems which may arise from heat waves, and many other areas.
  • Involve and engage the Croatian public as critical actors to help reduce emissions and work towards a better climate future to reduce Croatia’s GHG emissions and increase national resilience.