Climate change

Adaptation to climate change


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Climate change poses serious, wide-ranging risks to economies, societies and ecosystems. These risks include: damage to coastal infrastructure, shifting patterns of infectious diseases and loss of food security.

Reducing these risks requires action to sharply reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation), combined with measures to increase resilience to the impacts that occur (adaptation).

The OECD supports countries’ efforts to prepare for the effects of a changing climate by providing impartial analysis, policy advice and supporting the sharing of experiences between the public and private sectors.

What's new


policy perspectives: adapting the impacts of climate change

ADAPTATION policies and economics

OECD analysis focusses upon key areas with the integration of adaptation into policy-making, including: the role of the private sector, use of economic analysis, comparing national approaches to adaptation and mainstreaming into sectoral activities.

Countries are scaling-up their preparations for climate change: for example, the majority of OECD countries have now developed national adaptation plans and strategies. Although there have made progress in planning and implementing adaptation policies over the last decades, significant challenges remain. The OECD is helping countries to share their adaptation experiences, identify barriers and inform the development of policy solutions.

Recent work includes economic issues including the costs and benefits of adaptation, and adaptation in cities, agriculture and the water sectors.

Work at the national level has included a study of the experiences of Colombia and Ethiopia and their implications for integrating adaptation into national development planning.

ADAPTATION and development co-operation

Developing countries will be particularly affected by climate change - the OECD works to integrate effective adaptation into development co-operation through collaboration between the environment and development communities.

Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to climate change - environmentally, economically and socially. It is crucial that adaptation is included in development programmes and economic growth plans.

Moreover, as international funding targeted at adaptation increases, it important to ensure the effectiveness, equity and efficiency of adaptation interventions.

This work is led by the Task Team on Climate Change and Development Co-operation.

The main output is the guidance on integrating adaptation into development co-operation activities. This has been followed by work on monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation.

publications and reports

  • Identifying and Addressing Gaps in the UNFCCC Reporting Framework highlights the gaps, inconsistencies and uncertainties in the current reporting framework, which was developed for both long-standing obligations and mitigation pledges for the period to 2020. The paper also identifies possible improvements in the UNFCCC reporting framework in the context of the post-2020 transparency framework and nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for the post-2020 period (November 2015).
  • The report Climate Change Mitigation: Policies and Progress reviews trends and progress on climate change mitigation policies in 34 OECD countries and 10 partner economies (Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Russian Federation and South Africa), as well as in the European Union (October 2015).
  • The Toolkit to Enhance Access to Adaptation Finance provides practical guidance for developing countries on identifying and accessing international climate finance. It includes tools for capacity development, project preparation and using the National Adaption Plan (NAP) process effectively. Produced in collaboration with the Global Environment Fund (GEF) (August 2015).
  • The report Climate Change Risks and Adaptation: Linking Policy and Economics proposes an iterative process for managing the risks from climate change, gives an overview of costs and benefits of adaptation at the national and regional scale and discusses adaptation finance in OECD countries (July 2015).
  • The Role of the 2015 Agreement in Enhancing Adaptation to Climate Change explores how the 2015 agreement can help to foster enhanced policies and co-ordinate planning for greater resilience and adaptation capabilities at the national level. The paper considers the technical advantages and disadvantages of selected adaptation-related concepts that have been put forward in the negotiations (May 2015).
  • National Climate Change Adaptation: Emerging Practices in Monitoring and Evaluation draws upon emerging monitoring and evaluation practices across developed and developing countries to identify four tools that countries can draw upon for their climate adaptation policies: i) climate change risk and vulnerability assessments; ii) indicators to monitor progress on adaptation priorities; iii) project and programme evaluations to identify effective adaptation approaches; and iv) national audits and climate expenditure reviews (April 2015).
  • National Adaptation Planning: Lessons from OECD Countries (2013) provides an overview of progress in adaptation planning across the OECD, and lessons learnt from countries' experiences in evidence provision, strategic planning and policy implementation.

  • Full list of publications and reports on climate adaptation.





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