Environment and development

OECD Policy Guidance on Integrating Climate Change Adaptation into Development Co-operation


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Publication Date: 24 Aug 2009

ISBN Number: 9789264054769






The OECD has recently developed a Policy Guidance with information and advice on how to facilitate the integration of adaptation within development processes. While efforts to integrate climate change adaptation will be led by developing country partners, international donors have a critical role to play in supporting such efforts as well as in integrating consideration of adaptation within their own plans and activities. To this end, partners and donors alike need operational guidance.


The objectives of the OECD Policy Guidance are to: i) promote understanding of the implications of climate change on development practice and the associated need to mainstream climate adaptation in development co-operation agencies and partners  countries; ii) identify appropriate approaches for integrating climate adaptation into development policies at national, sectoral and project levels and in urban and rural contexts; and iii) identify practical ways for donors to support developing country partners in their efforts to reduce their vulnerability to climate variability and climate change.


The integration of adaptation at each of these levels will require an analysis of the governance architecture and the different stages of the policy cycle to identify entry points where the consideration of climate change adaptation could be incorporated. At the national level, typical entry points could include various stages in the formulation of national policies, long term and multi-year development plans, sectoral budgetary allocation processes, as well as regulatory processes. On the other hand, the entry points would be very different at the level of on-the-ground projects, where climate change adaptation considerations might need to be factored within specific elements of the project cycle.


Central to the OECD Policy Guidance is the notion of a climate lens, which involves examining: i) the extent to which the policy, plan or project under consideration could be vulnerable to risks arising from climate variability and change; ii) the extent to which climate change risks have already been taken into consideration; iii) the extent to which the policy, plan or project could inadvertently lead to increased vulnerability, leading to maladaptation or, conversely, miss important opportunities arising from climate change; and iv) for pre-existing policies and plans which are being revised, what amendments might be warranted in order to address climate risks and opportunities.

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Table of Contents 

Executive Summary 


Chapter 1. Introduction and Scope

Chapter 2. Weather, Climate Variability and Climate Change
Chapter 3. Vulnerability of the Developing World to Climate Change
Chapter 4. Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change
Chapter 5. Operationalising Adaptation: From Theory to Action


Chapter 6. National, Sectoral and Project Levels: Introduction

Chapter 7. Integrating Climate Change Adaptation at the National Level
Chapter 8. Integrating Climate Change Adaptation at the Sector Level
Chapter 9. Integrating Climate Change Adaptation at the Project Level


Chapter 10. Introduction to the Local Level

Chapter 11. Local Contexts: Rural and Urban Settings
Chapter 12. Integrating Adaptation into Local Development Processes
Chapter 13. Key Challenges and Priorities for Actions

Annex A: Examples of Tools and Screening Approaches for Adaptation to Climate Change
Annex B: How to Integrate Climate Change Considerations into Sectoral Policies, Plans and Programmes through Strategic Environmental Assessment

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