Europe adapts to climate change. Comparing National Adaptation Strategies in Europe

R.J. Swart, G.R. Biesbroek, S. Binnerup, T. Carter, C. Cowan, T. Henrichs, S. Loquen, H. Mela, M. Morecroft, M. Reese, D. Rey

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


Climate Change is happening. Even if global emission reductions and mitigation efforts over the next decades prove to be successful, a signifi cant amount of human-induced climate change has become inevitable. In addition to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many EU countries are therefore developing and putting in place adaptation strategies to help them cope with the expected impacts of climate change. This report presents a comparative analysis of national adaptation strategies in a sample of European countries. The primary objectives of this study are to identify policy-relevant fi ndings and formulate recommendations for further research. Through these objectives, this report aims at providing both policy makers and research managers with enhanced insights into the variety of approaches taken by countries and knowledge gaps, and to thus facilitate the exchange of information on how to tackle adaptation across Europe and develop relevant research agendas. Our focus is on national level strategies, examining top-down approaches to and coordination of adaptation measures in each country. There is clearly also an important role for bottom-up action, action which is often already taking place at the local scale, where climate impacts are expected to be experienced. This is covered in a parallel PEER report (Mickwitz et al., 2009). The report is structured around six key themes that were identifi ed by the research team on the basis of an initial inventory as distinctive elements of all the National Adaptation Strategies (NASs) that have been analysed. We examine how the countries have approached each of these themes, analyse how much progress has been made and identify policy needs and research gaps that we believe will help improve understanding and enhance the implementation of adaptation policy at the national level. The six themes are:
1. Motivating and facilitating factors for strategy development
2. Science-policy interactions and the place of research
3. The role of communicating adaptation
4. Multi-level governance in shaping and delivering National Adaptation Strategies
5. The integration of adaptation into sectoral policies
6. The role of policy monitoring, review and enforcement
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Number of pages283
ISBN (Print)9789521134517
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NamePEER Report / Partnership of European Environmental Research
PublisherPEER 1


  • climatic change
  • environmental policy
  • adaptation
  • europe
  • governance
  • risk management

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