The European Commission adopted its new EU strategy on adaptation to climate change on 24 February 2021.
The new strategy sets out how the European Union can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change and become climate resilient by 2050.
The Strategy has four principle objectives: to make adaptation smarter, swifter and more systemic, and to step up international action on adaptation to climate change.
Adaptation actions must be informed by robust data and risk assessment tools that are available to all – from families building homes, businesses in coastal regions and farmers planning their crops.
To achieve this, the strategy proposes actions that push the frontiers of knowledge on adaptation so that we can gather more and better data on climate-related risks and losses, and enhance Climate-ADAPT as the European platform for adaptation knowledge.
The effects of climate change are already being felt, and so we must adapt more quickly and comprehensively.
The strategy therefore focuses on developing and rolling out adaptation solutions to help reduce climate-related risk, increase climate protection and safeguard the availability of fresh water.
More systemic adaptation
Climate change will have impacts at all levels of society and across all sectors of the economy, so adaptation actions must also be systemic.
The Commission will continue to actively mainstream climate resilience considerations in all relevant policy fields.
It will support the further development and implementation of adaptation strategies and plans at all levels of governance with three cross-cutting priorities:
- integrating adaptation into macro-fiscal policy
- nature-based solutions for adaptation
- local adaptation action.
Stepping up international action for climate resilience
The EU will increase support for international climate resilience and preparedness through the provision of resources, by prioritising action and increasing effectiveness, through the scaling up of international finance and through stronger global engagement and exchanges on adaptation.
The strategy’s four objectives are underpinned by 14 actions and the steps to be taken to deliver them.
The Commission will discuss the strategy with the Member States in the Environmental Council. The Council is expected to agree to conclusions on the new strategy when it meets in June 2021.
Development of the strategy
The European Commission announced the new, more ambitious EU Adaptation strategy in the European Green Deal in December 2019.
The strategy builds on the 2018 evaluation (accompanied by a staff working document) of the 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy.
An open public consultation was conducted in preparation for the new strategy between May and August 2020.
- COM(2021) 82 - EU Climate Adaptation Strategy
- SWD(2021) 123 - Closing the climate protection gap – Scoping policy and data gaps
- SWD(2021) 25 - Impact Assessment
- SWD(2021) 26 - Impact Assessment Executive Summary
- Press Release on the adoption of the 2021 EU Climate Adaptation Strategy
- Q&A on the 2021 EU Climate Adaptation Strategy
- Studies & papers
- SWD(2018) 460 - Adaptation preparedness scoreboard – Country Fiches
- Horizontal assessment of the 28 country fiches.
- Individual country fiches in English, and their summaries in English and national languages
- Evaluation Roadmap
- Consultation strategy
- Report, and presentations from the first targeted stakeholder workshop (April 2017)
agenda and presentations from the public consultation meeting (January 2018)
- Online public consultation
- Evaluation support study report and annexes
- The EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change
- 30/07/2013 - SWD (2013) 299 - Principles and recommendations for integrating climate change adaptation considerations under the 2014-2020 European Maritime and Fisheries Fund operational programmes
- 18/06/2013 - Council conclusions on the EU Adaptation Strategy
- 16/04/2013 - COM (2013) 216 - An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 131 - Summary of the Impact Assessment
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 132 - Impact Assessment Part 1&2
- 16/04/2013 - COM (2013) 213 - Green paper on the insurance of natural and man-made disasters
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 133 - Climate change adaptation, coastal and marine issues
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 136 - Adaptation to climate change impacts on human, animal and plant health
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 137 - Adapting infrastructure to climate change
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 138 - Climate change, environmental degradation and migration
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 135 - Technical guidance on integrating climate change adaptation in programmes and investments of Cohesion Policy
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 139 - Principles and recommendations for integrating climate change adaptation considerations under the 2014-2020 rural development programmes
- 16/04/2013 - SWD (2013) 134 - Guidelines on developing adaptation strategies
- Citizens' summary: EU strategy on adaptation to climate change
- 16/04/2013 - Non-paper Guidelines for Project Managers: Making vulnerable investments climate resilient
- IP/13/329 - Strengthening Europe's preparedness against natural and man-made disasters
- MEMO/13/334 - Questions and Answers: EU strategy on adaptation to climate change
- MEMO/13/335 - EU strategy on adaptation to climate change - Media resource sheet
- 01/04/2009 - COM (2009) 147 - White Paper on adapting to climate change
- 01/04/2009 - SEC (2009) 387 - Impact assessment on the White paper on adapting to climate change
- 01/04/2009 - SEC (2009) 388 - Executive summary of the impact assessment
- 01/04/2009 - Citizens' summary on the White Paper
- 01/04/2009 - Discussion paper on agriculture
- 01/04/2009 - Discussion paper on health
- 01/04/2009 - SEC/2009/0386 - Policy paper on Water, Coasts and Marine Issues
- Ex-ante impact assessment of the new European strategy on adaptation to climate change
- SWD (2021) 25 - Impact Assessment
- SWD (2021) 26 - Impact Assessment Executive Summary
- Studies to support an ex-ante impact assessment of the EU adaptation strategy:
- Final report: consultation synopsis
- Vulnerability and impact assessment of the EU’s outermost regions
- Quantitative and qualitative aspects of water safety under a changing climate
- Temporal and geographical coverage of available data for assessing the impacts of climate change on European forests
- Climate risk data
- The climate protection gap
- Temporal and geographical coverage of available data for assessing the impacts of climate change on European agriculture
- Study on Climate adaptation modelling
- 20/11/2020 - Conference ‘Climate change and the European Water dimension’
- Methodologies for climate proofing investments and measures under cohesion and regional policy and the common agricultural policy – Identifying the climate risks related to rural areas and adaptation options
- Methodologies for climate proofing investments and measures under cohesion and regional policy and the common agricultural policy – sectoral fiches Cohesion policy and adaptation
- Background report to the preparation of the Impact assessment on the EU adaptation strategy – part I
- Background report to the preparation of the Impact assessment on the EU adaptation strategy – Part II (results of stakeholders' consultation
- "Climate Proofing" of key EU policies – Final report Task 1: Assessment of the most significant threats to the EU posed by the changing climate in the short, medium and long term
- "Climate Proofing" of key EU policies – Final report Task 2: Identification of the most appropriate measures that could address each threat, for implementation in the time frame 2013 – 2020
- "Climate Proofing" of key EU policies – Final report Task 3: Recommendations on priority measures for EU policy mainstreaming on adaptation
- Application of economic instruments for adaptation to climate change