Adaptation at EU level

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The 2021 European Adaptation Strategy sets out how the EU can become climate-resilient by 2050.
Source: AndrzejRembowski /pixabay

The impacts of climate change are clearly felt in Europe. Efforts to adapt to climate change are thus becoming increasingly important. The EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change, adopted in 2021, has defined ambitious targets to address the growing need for action.

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The European Adaptation Strategy

In February 2021, the European Commission adopted the new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change. The strategy sets out how the European Union can adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change and become climate-resilient by 2050. It is part of the European Green Deal and helps to implement the recently adopted European Climate Law. Responsibility within the EU Commission lies with the Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA). The first EU Adaptation Strategy was adopted in 2013 and evaluated in 2018.


Objectives of the EU adaptation strategy

The strategy calls for action by member states and all public and private actors to better prepare Europe for the increasing intensity and frequency of climate change impacts. The strategy has four main objectives:

Smarter Adaptation

Adaptation measures need to be based on solid data and risk assessment tools that are available to all. To achieve this, more data on climate-related risks and losses should be collected. Climate-ADAPT as the European platform for adaptation knowledge is to be further expanded to become the authoritative adaptation knowledge platform in Europe.

Faster Adaptation

The impacts of climate change are already being felt, so we have to adapt faster and more comprehensively. Therefore, the strategy focuses on developing and rolling out adaptation solutions to help reduce climate-related risks and increase climate resilience. Particular attention is also paid to ensuring the availability of fresh water.

More systemic adaptation

Climate change will have impacts at all levels of society and across all economic sectors, so adaptation measures must also be systemic. Climate resilience considerations must be mainstreamed into all relevant policy fields. The European Commission will support the further development and implementation of adaptation strategies and plans at all levels of government with three cross-cutting priorities: integrating adaptation into EU financial policy decisions, promoting nature-based solutions for adaptation and local adaptation measures.

Stepping up international action for climate resilience

The EU will increase its support for international climate resilience and preparedness, including by increasing international financial resources and increasing global engagement and exchanges on adaptation.

Homepage of Climate-ADAPT
Climate-ADAPT is the European platform for adaptation knowledge
Source: European Environment Agency


The European climate adaptation platform Climate-ADAPT supports adaptation to climate change in Europe by providing comprehensive data and information on climate change. A search and filter function helps to find suitable, quality-checked information. The platform provides information on the following topics:

  • Expected climate change in Europe
  • Current and future vulnerability of regions and sectors
  • EU, national and transnational adaptation strategies and actions
  • Adaptation case studies and potential adaptation options
  • Tools that support adaptation planning

The European Climate Adaptation Platform Climate-ADAPT is a partnership between the European Commission and the European Environment Agency (EEA) and has been launched in 2012. Another element of Climate-ADAPT is the European Climate and Health Observatory which provides access to a wider range of resources and tools as well as adaptation policies related to climate change and health. The European Climate Data Explorer provides interactive access to many climate indices from the Copernicus Climate Change Service in support of climate change adaptation.

Climate-ADAPT is being developed according to the needs of its target audience, i.e., governmental decision-makers at all governance levels in Europe and organisations supporting them. Since Climate-ADAPT is acting as a ‘first-stop-shop’ to guide its users to relevant sources of adaptation information, Climate-ADAPT invites providers across Europe to share their adaptation knowledge through Climate-ADAPT. An FAQ section explains the selection of content to be shared trough Climate-ADAPT.