• "The fight against climate change and for a fair transition to a decarbonized economy is an essential objective of Humanity, in which the European Union must be a consolidated leader. The outermost regions (ORs) are also part of the EU, in rights and duties. Because of their geographic uniqueness, these territories are highly exposed to the effects of global warming, and therefore require unique responses as well as the protection of their specific characteristics, especially concerning their aerial and maritime connectivity.
    The good news is that the outermost regions have everything to be leaders in the development and implementation of renewable energies: wind, solar and tidal, among others. A fair energy transition is an attainable objective, and thanks to which the ORs - and especially the island regions - could become self-sufficient in their supply of renewable energy sources".

    Juan Fernando LÓPEZ AGUILAR- MEP 


Kick-off meeting of the LIFE COSTAdapta project (Infecar Fair, Gran Canaria, Spain. September 19, 2023)

By: Pablo Ángel Barrios Martínez

  • This European project has a duration of 7 years and a total budget of 3,409,864 EUR (2,045,818 EUR subsidized by the European Union through the LIFE Programme)
  • The main objective of the LIFE COSTAdapta project is to address the adaptation of the coast of Gran Canaria to sea level rise through an innovative methodology. To this end, the aim is to design and test an innovative and progressive tidal pool-reef system, partially using the traditional tidal pools construction technique common in the Canary Islands and the rest of Macaronesia, for the progressive adaptation of the coast of Gran Canaria to climate change.
  • The Canary Islands are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as pointed out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with a significant increase in sea levels affecting their coasts.
  • LIFE COSTAdapta seeks to increase the natural protection of the coastline without affecting its local use, so deeply rooted in the Canary Islands, and at the same time, contribute to the preservation of the tourist economy in the region.

Based on the report of the Global Sea-Level Rise & Implications of the World Meteorological Organisation, global sea-level changes induced by climate change and the melting of major ice masses will exert a significant impact on communities worldwide, especially island developing states and in densely populated low-lying urban areas. It will also threaten coastal farmlands and water reserves. The impacts of average sea level are boosted by storm surges and tidal variations. Sea-level rise will bring cascading and compounding impacts resulting in losses of coastal ecosystems and ecosystem services, groundwater salinization, flooding, and damage to coastal infrastructure. It imposes risks to economies, livelihoods, settlements, health, well-being, food and water security, and cultural values in the near long-term.

Around a third of the EU population lives within 50 km of the coast. Extreme sea levels in Europe could rise by up to one meter or more by the end of this century. Without mitigation and adaptation measures, annual damages from coastal flooding in the EU and the UK could rise sharply from 1.4 billion to almost 240 billion by 2100. Around 95% of these impacts could be avoided through moderate mitigation and the raising of dykes where human settlements and economically important areas along the coastline are located.

About LIFE COSTAdapta

LIFE COSTAdapta has a duration of 7 years and a total budget of 3,409,864 EUR (2,045,818 EUR subsidized by the European Union through the LIFE Programme) and is coordinated by Consejo Insular de Energia de Gran Canaria (CIEGC) by the Cabildo of Gran Canaria with the support of seven partners: University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC); University of Cantabria (UC); INGECID, Research and Project Development; Raley Estudios Costeros S.C.P.; ECOncrete AQUA; Fundación Canaria para el Reciclaje y Desarrollo Sostenible (FCR) and Fundación Finnova.

LIFE COSTAdapta's Roadmap to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

LIFE COSTAdapta aims to address the adaptation of the coast of Gran Canaria (Spain) to sea-level rise through an innovative methodology. To achieve this, a progressive system of tidal pool-reefs will be designed and tested, combining traditional tidal pool construction techniques with advanced solutions.

This will contribute to the gradual adaptation of the Gran Canaria coast to Climate Change, which is crucial given the high vulnerability of the Canary Islands to climate impacts, including sea-level rise. In addition to strengthening the resilience of coastal areas, LIFE COSTAdapta seeks to preserve the characteristic habitats of these areas and protect the local tourist economy. The project will ensure economic sustainability by providing solutions against flooding. This project uses an innovative approach when using traditional techniques. It will also have a positive impact on the local touristic sector by generating employment and, in consequence, for the development of the local economy. In other words, it will bring innovative measures to tackle Climate Change.

More specifically, it will have a positive impact on the following sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UU. NN): Goal 3 Good Health and Well-Being; Goal 6 Clean Water and Sanitation; Goal 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth; Goal 13 Climate Action; Goal 14 Life Below Water.

Opportunities for the Europe's Outermost Regions: Interreg MAC

The global mean sea level increased by 0.20m between 1901 and 2018. The average rate of sea level rise was 1.3 mm yr.–1 between 1901 and 1971, increasing to 1.9 mm yr.–1 between 1971 and 2006, and further increasing to 3.7 mm/yr. between 2006 and 2018. WMO has reported that during 2013-22 sea level rise has been 4.5 mm/yr. Human influence was likely the driver of these increases since at least 1971.

The global mean sea-level has risen more rapidly since 1900 than over any preceding century in at least the last 3000 years. The global ocean has warmed at faster rate over the past century than since the end of the last deglacial transition (approximately 11,000 years ago).

This project aims to implement this innovative system, demonstrating its operation and effectiveness under given conditions, and obtaining a methodology that can be replicated in other areas at risk from the effects of rising sea levels, not only in Gran Canaria but also in the rest of the islands of the archipelago and other outermost regions such as Madeira and the Azores in Portugal.