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Responding to Rising Seas

OECD Country Approaches to Tackling Coastal Risks

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There is an urgent need to ensure that coastal areas are adapting to the impacts of climate change. Risks in these areas are projected to increase because of rising sea levels and development pressures. This report reviews how OECD countries can use their national adaptation planning processes to respond to this challenge. Specifically, the report examines how countries approach shared costs and responsibilities for coastal risk management and how this encourages or hinders risk-reduction behaviour by households, businesses and different levels of government. The report outlines policy tools that national governments can use to encourage an efficient, effective and equitable response to ongoing coastal change. It is informed by new analysis on the future costs of sea-level rise, and the main findings from four case studies (Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom).

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“Rollback” in North Norfolk, United Kingdom

This chapter focuses on an area of North Norfolk, England, where an innovative “rollback” approach to adapting the local area to increased coastal erosion risk was trialled. The approach did not involve traditional coastal defence, which was considered uneconomic, but instead harnessed land-use planning policies with some “pump priming” funding to pursue a number of local projects. This chapter was written Nick Haigh, Lead Analyst, Floods & Water, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, United Kingdom, with contributions from Rob Goodliffe, North Norfolk District Council, Cromer, United Kingdom and Kellie Fisher, Environment Agency, United Kingdom.

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