Mainstreaming climate adaptation: taking stock about "what works" from empirical research worldwide

Hens Runhaar*, B. Wilk, A. Persson, C.J. Uittenbroek, C. Wamsler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Adaptation to a changing climate is unavoidable. Mainstreaming climate adaptation objectives into existing policies, as opposed to developing dedicated adaptation policy, is widely advocated for public action. However, knowledge on what makes mainstreaming effective is scarce and fragmented. Against this background, this paper takes stock of peer-reviewed empirical analyses of climate adaptation mainstreaming, in order to assess current achievements and identify the critical factors that render mainstreaming effective. The results show that although in most cases adaptation policy outputs are identified, only in a minority of cases this translates into policy outcomes. This B implementation gap
is most strongly seen in developing countries. However, when it comes to the effectiveness of outcomes, we found no difference across countries. We conclude that more explicit definitions and unified frameworks for adaptation mainstreaming research are required to allow for future research syntheses
and well-informed policy recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1210
JournalRegional Environmental Change
Issue number4
Early online date16 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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