The effectiveness of setback zones for adapting to sea-level rise in Croatia

The Mediterranean coastal zone is particularly vulnerable to climate-induced sea-level rise due to rapid coastal development, leading to increased flood exposure in coastal areas. In Croatia, the share of developed coastline is still lower than in other Mediterranean countries, but development has accelerated since the 1960s. Available assessments of future coastal flood risk take into account adaptation by hard structural protection measures but do not consider other options, such as retreat from exposed areas or restricting future development. In this study, we provide the first assessment of the effects of setback zones on future coastal flood impacts on national scale. We extend the flood impact and adaptation module of the DIVA modelling framework with models of restricted future development and slow retreat (managed realignment) in the form of setback zones. We apply this model to a downscaled database of coastal segments of the coastline of Croatia. We find that setback zones are an effective and efficient measure for coastal adaptation. Construction restriction and managed realignment reduce the future cost of coastal flooding significantly, especially in combination with protection. If protection and construction restriction by setback zones are combined, the future cost of coastal flooding can be reduced by up to 39%. Combining protection and managed realignment by setback zones can reduce the future cost of coastal flooding by up to 93%.

The online version of the paper is accessible here

Lincke, D., Wolff, C., Hinkel, J. et al. The effectiveness of setback zones for adapting to sea-level rise in Croatia. Reg Environ Change 20, 46 (2020).

Coronabonds: Welche Geschichte will Deutschland schreiben?

On March 31, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte used an interview on German TV to tell German citizens that in the corona crisis we are not writing an economics textbook, we are writing history. He insisted that Europe needs Coronabonds as an exceptional instrument to finance the measures required to tackle the pandemic together with the economic breakdown the pandemic is causing worldwide. While many prominent voices in Germany concur, the German government is determined to block this proposal. The following statement argues that this is would indeed be a historical mistake. As the text is a short-term intervention directed at a German audience, it is written in German. A related English text will be available later on.

Read Carlo Jaeger’s take HERE