New national climate change adaptation policy processes in Europe

The European Environment Agency (EEA) recently published its 2014 report on “National adaptation policy processes in European countries”.  According to the summary, this report draws on the results of a self-assessment survey conducted on national adaptation policy processes in Europe. In May 2013, the survey was sent out by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to authorities in countries responsible for coordinating adaptation at national level (the EEA 32 member countries, and in Croatia in July 2013 as a new EU Member State and EEA member country). Some 30 EEA member countries provided their responses on a voluntary basis. Thanks to the high response rate and the wealth of information provided by these European countries, this report presents a unique collection of information and the largest and most comprehensive overview of national adaptation policy processes in Europe, to date.

Collecting and analysing information on adaptation policy processes in European countries is essential in order to evaluate the extent to which actions are effective, efficient and equitable. It allows us to understand and determine which adaptation actions work, in what contexts, and why, and to share lessons learned across countries. However, measuring progress in adaptation (e.g. through indicators) is challenging for several reasons: adaptation, context specific and cross‑cutting all sectors of the economy, is characterised by long time‑frames and uncertainty, and does not have agreed targets. Thus, it will be important in coming years to share experiences across countries, and also to monitor and evaluate the progress, effectiveness and efficiency of ongoing and planned EU and national actions.

IRDR had argued during the preparatory phases for the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction that more attention must be paid to the close integration of climate change adaptation measures and DRR: this report also shows that in Europe this necessary integration is still a long way off.

LINK to the report: