This EEA report presents various options for reducing the risks of flooding with green infrastructure (GI) solutions in European floodplains and presents improved evidence for the financial justification of green investments. The findings are based on a number of case studies, whose evidence shows the benefits of GI and its potential for mitigating river floods in a cost-efficient way. The case studies indicate that the cost-efficiency ratio of GI solutions for flood management is generally higher than for grey alternatives, and provide further economic incentives with regards to the multiple co-benefits of GI solutions.
Besides being cost-efficient, such measures meet the regulatory requirements of flood protection, biodiversity conservation, water quality improvement as stipulated in the EU's Water Framework and Floods Directives. It further documents that GI can serve as an effective climate change adaptation measure such as through floodplain restoration.
The analysis further illustrates that one of the key challenges and barriers to making progress with the implementation of GI has been identified as the level of coordination between upstream and downstream areas of river basins. It is clear from the report that the implementation of the EU policy framework is strongly dependent on the organisation or governance arrangements in and between the Member States including the river basin and climate change authorities in particular.