EUSBSR Horizontal Action Climate

EUSBSR logoHA Climate logo original

What is HA Climate?

Horizontal Action (HA) Climate is one of the four Horizontal Actions in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. HA Climate represents Baltic Sea cooperation in the fields of climate adaptation as well as low emission development. The HA is led by the Baltic 2030 Unit of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS.

Human influence on the climate system is proven and recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems on all continents and across the oceans. Future climate scenarios show increasing annual and seasonal temperatures of about 3 – 4 degrees by the end of this century for the Baltic Sea region (BSR), a projected warming that is higher than the global mean. The Baltic Sea region is highly industrialized and populated – around 85 million people live in the Baltic Sea catchment area. That makes the BSR highly vulnerable to climate change. Furthermore socio-economic impacts are foreseen to be considerable with various degrees of resilience among regions and sectors. All BSR countries are therefore concerned by vulnerability to a changing climate. However, awareness and preparedness to climate change differ across the Baltic Sea region. While effective mitigation action is crucial, adaptation has to be the other aspect of comprehensive climate work, on all levels of governance.

Both the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change and the Council’s conclusions on this subject emphasise the importance and value added of knowledge and good practice exchange between member states, regions, cities and other stakeholders. HA Climate aims to support the BSR transformation into a low carbon economy and its capacity to adapt the climate change by:

    • Facilitating integrative cross-sectorial policy discussions and alignment of policies in the Baltic Sea region countries
    • Promoting low- emission and climate resilient development
    • Promoting secure energy supply and efficiently using potential of renewable energy sources and promoting energy efficiency.
    • Promoting sustainable production and consumption-oriented measures
    • Increasing coordination and synergy among initiatives and projects dealing with climate adaptation and mitigation in the Baltic Sea region

Read more about us in our leaflet or visit our website to stay up to date with the latest climate policy developments in the Baltic Sea Region.

HA Climate is part-financed by:

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Low Emission Development

In order to support the BSR transformation into a low carbon economy, HA Climate is focusing on the following activities and initiatives[1]:

1) Establishing a strategic dialogue between governments for supporting the development and implementation of national low carbon development policies in order to:

  • Support harmonization of rules and plans
  • Promote climate-resilient and resource efficient solutions
  • Accelerate the transition to a circular economy
  • Stimulate green public procurement

2) Support the Low Emission Development (LED) research cooperation

3) Raise the public awareness on climate change and low-emission lifestyles

[1] The proposed activities are based on the proposals and recommendations made in the Report “Evaluation of Low-Carbon Development policy implementation in the Baltic Sea Region 2014” (EUSBSR HA Sustainable Seed Money project BALLOON)

Climate Adaptation

Awareness and preparedness to climate change differ across the whole Baltic Sea region. HA Climate is supporting the Baltic Sea Region capacity to adapt to a changing climate by:

  • Developing a more robust evidence base on the impacts and consequences of climate change – a Baltic Sea Region climate adaptation inventory. This will also feed information to the EU ClimateAdapt website.
  • Raising awareness on the need for action through capacity building with a special focus on adaptation on local and regional level.
  • Initiating Baltic Sea Region climate forums in a policy-science-business set-up on climate adaptation

The Baltic Sea Region Climate Dialogue Platform  EUSBSR flagship label transparent

In its role as HA Climate, Baltic 2030 is facilitating an extensive climate dialogue for the region through the initiative the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) Climate Dialogue Platform.

Since awareness and preparedness to climate change differ across the region, the climate dialogue has the ambition to elaborate a shared understanding of climate change challenges and to promote adaptation solutions through joint projects and actions in the Baltic Sea region.

Through a series of Round Tables, which convenes national representatives, climate scientists and stakeholders from NGOs in the Baltic Sea region, the initiative promotes macro-regional cooperation and contributes to the implementation of EU climate policies.

To pursue these objectives, the platform facilitates knowledge exchange of information and best practices, information about policy development in BSR countries, the fostering of synergies among existing initiatives, as well as the identification and exploration of further cooperation opportunities for relevant projects and actors in the BSR.

Outcomes of the Round Tables: 

  • Development of a BSR climate inventory, with the objective to collect and disseminate climate adaptation materials. The BSR climate inventory will be made available on the EU Climate Adapt website, visit their website here.
  • Development of a joint capacity training and awareness raising project on climate adaptation, targeting the Baltic Sea region countries.

List of Round Tables:

  • 1st RT 5th December 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2nd RT 29th April 2014, Warsaw, Poland. Click here for further information.
  • 3rd RT 12th November 2014, Tallinn, Estonia. To find more information and relevant documents, click here.
  • 4th RT 29th April 2015, Tallinn Estonia. Click here for further information.
  • 5th RT Autumn 2015 in Warsaw, Poland. Click here for further information.
  • 7th RT May 2017, Reykjavik, Iceland. Click here for further information.
  • 8th RT June 2018, Tallinn, Estonia. Click here for further information.

View the list of members for the BSR Climate Dialogue Platform here.

EUSBSR flagship label transparentOngoing flagships 

  • The Baltic Sea Region Climate Dialogue Platform. Please find more information about this flagship under the section Climate Dialogue.
  • iWater – Integrated Storm Water Management project supported by the INTERREG Central Baltic program aims to improve the urban planning in the cities of the Baltic Sea Region via developing integrated storm water management system. During the years 2015–2018, common guidelines and tools of integrated storm water management will be developed in the partnering cities with the involvement of local stakeholder and interest groups. For more information visit the project’s website.
  • BioBIGG – BioBIGG strengthens the innovation capacity of the SMEs and helps fighting pollution in the South Baltic Area, initiating the development of new biomass-based products and paving the way for the growth of the low-carbon economy in the BSR. Read more about the project on their website.


Completed flagships 

  • Baltic Green Public Procurement (GPP) in cooperation with PA SME. Public procurement constitutes 16-20% of GDP in Europe. This enormous amount of public sector money can through informed decisions move the market into a more sustainable direction. Sustainable procurement can stimulate innovation and turn the public sector into a driving force in developing a green economy. Baltic GPP established a wide capacity building programme on Green Public Procurement (GPP) within Core Procurement Institutions (CPIs) across the Baltic Sea region, based on commonly applied training materials and purchasing actions of major Public Procurement across the Baltic Sea region. Buying innovative, eco-efficient products and services will significantly reduce environmental pollution and build up necessary know-how and capacities. Lead partner: Swedish Environmental Management Council. Deadline: 31 December 2013. Online green procurement guide, produced by the project.
  • Ecovillages. The project aimed at fostering Ecovillages development as more sustainable way of living in rural areas of the Baltic Sea region. Lead partner: Lithuania. Deadline: December 2013.
  • BALTADAPT. Baltadapt developed a transnational climate change adaptation strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, which focuses on the sea and the coastline. The project facilitated a knowledge-brokerage process on climate change adaptation between research and policy, thus contributing to improved institutional capacity. This will help decision makers in the Baltic Sea Region to tackle the consequences of climate change. The Baltadapt Action Plan promotes the implementation of the Baltadapt Strategy and specifies priority activities for climate change adaptation in the Baltic Sea Region. Lead partner: Denmark. Funding: About EUR 2.86 million of which EUR 2.12 million was ERDF co-financing. Deadline: 2013. Link:
  • BSR Dialogue Forum on Energy and Resource Efficiency – EFFECT. EFFECT’s main aim was to map, foster and communicate good practice solutions that attract and enable cities, villages and Baltic Sea region sub-regions as well as other relevant actors from the local, regional, national and pan-Baltic level to jointly develop and implement policies and concrete actions on becoming more energy and resource efficient, sustainable and resilient, while stimulating a greener economy. In the long term these activities will contribute to the promotion of the whole Baltic Sea region as a ‘Green Region’ and to promote energy efficient housing. The project contributed in particular to exchanging knowledge and good practices on environmentally friendly city management practices and maps successful solutions in implementing intelligent local sustainable energy policies that create stable local jobs and increase citizen’s quality of life and address crucial social issues. Lead partner: CBSS Secretariat – Baltic 21 Unit. Deadline: August 2015



To read more about how to become a flagship project, click here.

Impacts and results

Events and activities

Well planned, timely climate action saves lives, infrastructure and money.  During the EUSBSR Annual Forum in Stockholm, together with our colleagues from PA Secure, we invited experts to talk about financing instruments available for climate action. Short resume of their discussion: 1. Knowledge sharing and regional cooperation are as important as money, 2. Use the opportunity and finance your climate action through European Investment Bank, European Structural Investment Funds or other available instruments! Investing into preventing action pays off! Read more about the seminar here.

Read more about this high-level political session at the 7th EUSBSR Annual Forum here.


  • 10thEIONET workshop on Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation, 14-15 June 2016

The key objective of the workshop was to provide an update and discuss on-going and planned work by EEA, European Commission, international organisations and member countries in the field of work of ‘Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation’. A related expert meeting was held on 16 June on ‘climate change adaptation platforms in Europe’, with a focus on the interactions between Climate-ADAPT, transnational and national platforms. This expert meeting was meant for experts responsible for platforms in the EEA member countries and transnational platforms.

The CBSS Baltic 2030 as the EUSBSR HA Climate Coordinator participated in drafting the EU Climate Change Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation Report 2016.

HA Climate Coordinators:

Valdur Lahtvee

Policy Officer of the Sustainable Development Unit – Baltic 2030

Council of the Baltic Sea States, CBSS Baltic 2030 Unit


Tel: +46 8 440 19 37



The Steering group of HA Climate is the Expert Group on Sustainable Development (EGSD). Read more about EGSD here.

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