You are here: Home / Knowledge / Tools / Adaptation Support Tool / AST Step 1.3
Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

Getting started

1.3 How to plan for adaptation?

Climate Change Adaptation applies to policies, practices and projects which can either reduce damage and / or realise opportunities associated with climate change. This may include mainstreaming adaptation directly into existing policies or undertaking selected measures to reduce specific vulnerabilities. In the adaptation process, existing relevant national and EU legislation, policies, plans and guidance have to be considered for integration into the plans. Existing policy is challenged with new and uncertain future conditions under climate change. Therefore new planning approaches are required and this section provides basic information for planning adaptation to climate change.

Adaptation takes place on many different scales and scopes. It ranges from the inclusion in global and European policy, to the creation of national or regional adaptation plans and adaptation measures implemented by local communities. Adaptation is now often seen as process of learning by people and organisations in a specific context. This process aims to ensure that decisions are made that can withstand a wide range of future situations. It recognises that stakeholder goals often conflict and that there are various sources of information. As a reult, adaptation is more than the reduction of future vulnerability to a scientific or technical forecast. Alternative approaches are used, such as risk assessment, scenario development and decision evaluation. In addition, learning can be achieved through collaboration, evaluation of case examples and through implementation.

In its White Paper on adaptation the EU identified 'four pillars' of action that are important for adaptation planning:

  1. building a solid knowledge base on the impact and consequences of climate change,
  2. integrating adaptation into key policy areas,
  3. employing a combination of policy instruments (market-based instruments, guidelines, public-private partnerships) to ensure effective delivery of adaptation, and
  4. stepping up international cooperation on adaptation.

The role of the Adaptation Support Tool in this process is to provide information on vulnerability and climatic risks alongside case examples and guidance. Users are strongly encouraged to actively engage with other stakeholders in all stages of the adaptation process. This is particularly recommended for the identification of adaptation options, sharing information, using participatory techniques to explore synergies and conflicts, and to raise awareness of potential adaptation pathways.

Guidance and tools

Relevant tile

Further reading

Relevant tile

Document Actions