The reach of climate-related environmental events beyond national borders is becoming ever more apparent; from the extreme weather impacts of melting glaciers to rainfall variability causing transnational drought and susceptibility to wildfires. Such impacts may not only physically cross borders but can also be transmitted through international processes such as trade and financial flows.

To date, cross-border and cascading climatic impacts have taken governments and business by surprise. With its strong links to the rest of the world, Europe is exposed not only to the regional effects of a changing climate, but also the fall out from those materializing elsewhere.

Preparations and policy change will be needed at both member state and EU level in order to mitigate such impacts. Adaptation actions must be integrated into a wider policy mix, including not just climate but also trade, finance, development, emergency response and security.

This policy brief sets out the main area of interest of the new CASCADES project (Cascading climate risks: Towards adaptive and resilient European societies).