Climate change adaptation

Adaptation to climate change is a relatively new but rapidly evolving policy field. It requires action mainly at local and regional level, as regions and municipalities are in the front line in terms of the potential impacts of climate change. In addition, the cost of inaction is often significantly higher than the investments required for reducing overall vulnerability to climate impacts. Situations of apparent market failure arise as institutions and citizens are unable to afford the high risk premiums asked by insurance companies to cover potential losses due to disasters. The need for adaptation measures creates increasing possibilities for private-sector involvement, especially in terms of building the knowledge base and data observation capacities (e.g. the development of information and communication tools, detection and monitoring systems, and risk mapping and assessment).

Tools and methodologies


Information platforms

  • Climate-ADAPT: This initiative of the European Commission helps users to access and share information on expected climate change impacts in Europe; the current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors; national and transnational adaptation strategies; adaptation case studies; and potential adaptation options and tools that support adaptation planning.
  • Horizon 2020: Climate action is one of the cross-cutting issues mainstreamed in the Horizon 2020 programme. Support will be targeted at actions that aim to promote research and development on climate change adaptation
  • The LIFE Instrument: This site provides information on financing a wide range of projects related to environment and climate change mitigation and adaptation. A specific sub-programme of LIFE is dedicated to climate action and supports integrated projects that aim to improve the implementation of climate policy on a larger territorial scale.
  • EU Solidarity Fund: This portal provides information and support in relation to the occurrence of natural disasters
  • European Investment Bank (EIB): The site offers information on the EIB’s approach to climate action. Climate change considerations are to be mainstreamed in all EIB sectoral policies and integrated into all operational activities.

Case studies

  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) sustainable energy initiative: The EBRD’s work on climate change adaptation touches many sectors of the economy. The bank helps its clients to identify climate change impacts that will affect their operations; develop and implement strategies to facilitate adaptation; and invest in measures and technologies that improve their resilience. This website includes several case studies and publications on experience with financing adaptation.