Last update:16 Feb 2018

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy Adopted Details available here
Action plans Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments Completed/ Currently being undertaken


Research programs Currently being undertaken
Climate services / Met Office Established/ Being developed
Web portal Online


Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies Being developed


Training and education resources "Answers to Climate Change from Communication and Education" initiative


National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Last National Communication Submitted


The Spanish adaptation strategy (NAS)

The Spanish National Adaptation Plan (PNACC), adopted in July 2006, is the reference framework for the development of adaptation policies in Spain. It promotes the coordination between all Public Administrations that deal with the assessment of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. It includes all sectors and natural resources acknowledged as potentially affected and is developed through specific Work Programmes. The Plan was adopted by the Council of Ministers after a wide consultation process that included the main coordination and participation bodies dealing with Climate Change in Spain: the National Climate Council (CNC), The Coordination Commission of Climate Change Policies (CCPCC) and the Environmental Sector Conference. The process engaged representatives from public administrations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.

The Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC in Spanish) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, coordinates, manages and follows up the implementation of the PNACC and its Work Programmes. The Plan's general objective is to mainstream climate change adaptation into the planning and management of vulnerable sectors and systems in Spain. Specific objectives include:

  • To develop the regional climate change scenarios for the Spanish geography.
  • To develop and implement methods and tools to evaluate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change for all the relevant socioeconomic sectors and ecological systems.
  • To incorporate the most relevant needs for assessment of the climate change impacts into the Spanish R&D&I system
  • To carry out iterative information and dissemination activities on the outcomes of the Plan.
  • To promote the participation of all stakeholders -public and private- involved in the different sectors and systems, to mainstream adaptation to climate change into sectoral policies.
  • To deliver specific reports on the results of the evaluations and projects, and periodical follow-up reports about the projects and the National Adaptation Plan as a whole.

 Up to date, three PNACC Work Programmes have been adopted:

  • First Work Programme (WP1). Adopted in 2006, it was focused on developing a national programme on regionalised climate change scenarios, and on the assessment of climate change impacts and vulnerability in key and crosscutting sectors: water resources, biodiversity and coastal areas.
  • Second Work Programme (WP2). Adopted in 2009, it continued with the WP1 activities and set additional goals to address climate change adaptation in Spain, with the assessment of new sectors: forestry, agriculture, health and tourism. It comprises four axes for action: (i) sectoral impacts and vulnerability assessments, (ii) mainstreaming climate change adaptation into sectoral regulations and planning tools, (iii) mobilising sectoral stakeholders, and (iv) setting up an indicator system on climate change impacts and adaptation. Additionally, the WP2 builds on two basic pillars: (1) promoting R&D+I activities, and (2) reinforcing the coordination between all the administrative levels with responsibility for adaptation to climate change.
  • Third Work Programme (WP3), to be developed during 2014-2020. It follows the same structure as the Second Work Programme including additional vulnerable sectors and territories to be assessed such as islands and rural and urban areas, and is fully coherent with the European Adaptation Strategy. In this WP3, governance plays a key role to mainstream adaptation into all vulnerable sectors and territories, engaging both public and private actors involved.

Sub national level

At regional level, the vast majority of the Spanish Autonomous Communities have already adopted their adaptation strategies, plans or actions. Most of them have considered adaptation within general climate change strategies, frameworks or plans in the form of programmes, measures or actions, whereas some others have developed their own Adaptation Strategies or frameworks. The lines of work in which the Autonomous Communities have developed their strategies and plans are coherent with the National Adaptation Plan and its work programmes.

In general terms, regional frameworks relating adaptation to climate change are focused on:

  • Generation and analysis of knowledge: They have covered most of the sectors identified by PNACC: Biodiversity, water resources, forests, agriculture, soils/desertification, human health, tourism…
  • Systematic climate observations.
  • Research of the climate system and climate change.


Local level

At local level, the Spanish Cities Network for Climate (RECC) is a voluntary network of municipalities aimed at developing and promoting climate actions such as the establishment of adaptation strategies and plans. The Spanish Climate Change Office has promoted the development of a series of guidelines for the preparation of local plans for adaptation to climate change (Local plans volume 2)

 Sectoral level

For the time being, an adaptation strategy in coastal areas is being drafted to comply with the mandate given by Act 2/2013, dated 29th may, on protection and sustainable use of the coast and amending Law 22/1988, of July 28, on Coastal Areas. This strategy is being developed at National and Regional Level and coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment with the participation of the coastal Autonomous Communities.

Regarding Biodiversity, as mandated by the Law 33/2015, dated 21st September, amending Law 42/2007, of December 13, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, there is an ongoing wide process to develop the “National Strategy on Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Ecological Restoration”, where adaptation to climate change is a key aspect that is being considered.

Priority sectors and adaptation action

The following sectors have been considered by the PNACC-WP3 to address adaptation actions during the period 2014-2020:

Agriculture, fishing, aquaculture
Finances/ Insurance
Urbanism and building
Hunting and inland fishing
Marine environment
Urban areas
Coastal Areas


Key actions implemented

The most relevant key actions on adaptation are these highlighted in the previous paragraph related to water resources, coastal areas (C3E project, and the implementation of Adaptation Strategy), biodiversity, health and transport. For more information see section on impact and vulnerability assessment. 

Key identified legislation or policy instruments or initiatives

Several sectoral laws at National level have mainstreamed adaptation considerations in recent years. Some examples are:

  • Royal Decree 903/2010, of July 9, on Assessment and Management of flood risks.
  • Law 41/2010 of December 29 on the Protection of the Marine Environment.
  • Law 33/2011, of October 4, on General Public Health.
  • Royal Decree 1274/2011, of September 16, on the Natural Heritage and Biodiversity Strategic Plan 2011-2017.
  • Law 21/2013, of December 9, on Environmental Assessment.
  • Act 2/2013, dated 29th may, on protection and sustainable use of the coast and amending Law22/1988, of July 28, on Coastal Areas.  Within the Law there is a mandate to develop an Adaptation Strategy in the Spanish Coast at National and regional Level which is being coordinated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment with the participation of the affected Autonomous Communities.
  • European Multiannual Financial Framework (2014): Spanish Partnership Agreement and ERDF, EARDF, EMFF Operating Programs.
  • Law 33/2015, dated 21st September, amending Law 42/2007, of December 13, on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity. There is a mandate to develop the “National Strategy on Green Infrastructure, Connectivity and Ecological Restoration”, where adaptation to climate change is a key aspect to be integrated.

Additionally other plans, programs, rules and legislation instruments have been assessed during the 2011-16 period to promote the inclusion of adaptation measures.

Progress monitoring

Monitoring reports on the progress of the Spanish National Climate Change Adaptation Plan are carried out periodically by the OECC (Spanish Climate Change Office), in coordination with the GTIA (Working Group on Impacts and Adaptation), and adopted by the CCPCC and the CNC. Up to date, three monitoring reports, 2008, 2011 and 2013, have been produced. The Third Monitoring Report analyses the ongoing and completed activities undertaken in the period 2011-2013.

The Fourth Monitoring Report will be released in 2017.

Monitoring reports are structured according to the architecture of the PNACC (its axes and pillars) and they form the basis to follow up the progress in the implementation of the PNACC.

Climate change adaptation and disaster risk management policies.

At national level, disaster risk reduction is a field recently considered in adaptation to climate change planning in Spain. The 3rd Work Programme of the PNACC considers this issue as a crosscutting matter to be included in all sectors and territories. Some of the activities to be developed in the period include:

  • Mainstreaming of climate change risks into strategic infrastructures (nuclear, waste treatment, energy).
  • Assessment of the lessons learnt after extreme events.
  • Assessment of impacts of climate change on forest fires.
  • Assessment of impacts of climate change on the Insurance Compensation Consortium's Extraordinary Risks Cover.

Also, the Spanish Climate Change Office belongs and actively participates in the Spanish Committee of the International Strategy on Disaster Risk Reduction, coordinated by the Civil Protection Authority

a) Observations and projections


Atmospheric climate data and analyses are provided by the Spanish Meteorological Agency (AEMET). Other data from the oceanic and terrestrial domains are collected by several institutions, and the OECC periodically coordinates their compilation.

Projections - Regionalised climate change scenarios

The production of regional climate change scenarios for the Spanish territory throughout the 21st century represents a key element of the PNACC. AEMET is responsible for coordinating this PNACC component, making them available in AEMET's climate services website for all those interested in climate change projections for Spain. In the initial phase of PNACC, a first generation of regional projections was produced in 2007, based on the IPCC-TAR scenarios, together with the report "Generation of Regional Climate Change Scenarios for Spain". The second phase has produced the collection of projections ‘Scenarios-PNACC 2012', from the IPCC-4AR scenarios. They have been generated from different GCMs and   scenarios, using both dynamic and statistical methods. Additionally, a more friendly and user-focused set of products has been elaborated, based on the results of a producers-users workshop held in 2011. A third collection of regional climate change scenarios for Spain derived from IPCC AR5 scenarios has been produced by AEMET. In order to facilitate the use of these downscaled climate change scenarios, OECC has developed a flexible and friendly tool that allows users to query specific consultation according to their needs. This tool has a visual and intuitive interface with graphic and cartographic facilities and products, and it has been integrated in the adaptation platform AdapteCCa.


b) Impacts & vulnerability assessment

A great number of experts and research teams in Spain are currently working to assess the foreseeable impacts of climate change on a variety of socio-economic sectors and ecological systems. The first report that summarized and integrated these studies, A Preliminary Assessment of the Impacts in Spain due to the Effects of Climate Change, was published in 2005. The full report –in Spanish and English versions- is available on the website of the Spanish Climate Change Office, and had the following characteristics:

  • It was promoted by OECC, and includes the participation of more than 400 experts.
  • It was structured homogenously for each socioeconomic sector and each ecological system.
  •  It provided an overarching approach and was the baseline for the development of the PNACC.
  • It assessed the following sectors:

terrestrial ecosystems


inland aquatic ecosystems

coastal areas

marine ecosystems and the fisheries

natural hazards of climatic origin

plant biodiversity


animal biodiversity


water resources


soil resources

human health





Since the release of this report many sectoral assessments on impacts and vulnerability to climate change have been produced within the PNACC framework including:

Water resources:

  • Assessment of Impacts of Climate Change in Water Resources and Water Bodies (Centre of Studies and Experimentation on Public Works, CEDEX in Spanish). The project entails 4 documents of assessments: Water Resources in Natural Regime, Water Demands, Exploitation Systems of Water Resources and Ecological State of Water Bodies. A software tool was also developed to be used in planning policies.This assessment is being updated with the AR5 regional climate change scenarios recently generated.



  • Monitoring Global Change Network in National Parks: Join-Initiative led by OECC, AEMET, Biodiversity Foundation (FB) and the National Parks Unit (OAPN) that involves the creation of a data collection and in situ infrastructure to enable the development of a system for evaluating and monitoring the impacts in the Network of Spanish National Parks as a result of global change, including climate change.
  • Assessment of Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to climate change in Spanish biodiversity (CCBIO). The project produced two documents:
    • Atlas of Climate Change Impacts on the Spanish Iberian Fauna
    • Atlas of Impacts and Vulnerability to Climate Change on Spanish Flora    

Coastal areas:

  • Climate Change in the Spanish Coast (C3E): The project, developed by the University of Cantabria, comprises data bases, methodologies and tools for the assessment of the impacts of climate change and the identification of adaptation measures in the Spanish coastal areas based on the climate variability and projected sea level rise.It entails:
    • A web viewer
    • An online data base
    • A simulator of the changes of the coastal dynamics by the effects of climate change.
    • A final report on the main outcomes


  • Pilot project to develop a high resolution tool to assess climate change impacts, vulnerability and adaptation in the coast of a Spanish region: Asturias (C3E-Asturias): The project, developed by the University of Cantabria, has developed a web viewer where all the results are accessible.




  • The Health and Climate Change Observatory is a joint initiative launched in 2009 by the Ministry of Health and the OECC, as a tool of diagnosis and research on the impacts of climate change and adaptation measures in the National Health System. The Observatory is composed by scientists and policymakers and has been splitted into four working groups: Air quality, extreme temperatures, transmissible diseases and water quality. As a result a report has been released in 2014.



Soils / Desertification:


Marine Environment:


 Economic assessments on impacts and adaptation:

Even if it is a relatively emerging field, some activities have already been implemented or are in progress:

  • Technical workshop about costs and benefits of Adaptation within UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme. Madrid, June 2010.
  • Coastal Areas: The C3E Project, also makes an appraisal of the natural assesses affected by the impacts of climate in coastal areas in Spain.
  • Ski Tourism: Pilot project on the assessment of economic impacts of climate change and in low altitude ski stations.
  • The project ADAPTA-2 (see "measures to engage the private sector" in section 4, "engaging stakeholders") reviews several methods to assess economic impacts for different adaptation measures and applies them in two main Spanish energy and infrastructure companies.


c) Research

Programmes addressing adaptation knowledge.

The following strategies, plans and instruments have specific references to the research needs of the PNACC:

National level

Spanish Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (2013-2020)

State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation (2013-2016). The OECC is currently delivering its input into the new Plan 2017-2020 for mainstreaming climate change needs into research priorities at a national level.

National Parks(OAPN): grants support for research on global change in these protected areas

Biodiversity Foundation: provides co-financing grants for the development of projects related to climate change adaptation issues.

Regional level

Strategies and instruments for planning and management system of R+D+I.


Institutions and scientific networks

Institutions The Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) is the entity that channels the funding and supports applications for national and international R&D&I projects of Spanish companies, including those related to climate change issues.
Research Networks The Thematic Network CLIVAR-Spain promotes and coordinates the Spanish contribution to CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Predictability)
Research Centres

Spain participates in the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural GHG (GRA in English) with the establishment of a nationwide network with the participation of about 100 experts. Adaptation to climate change is included among its research fields.

There are several technological and research centres on climate science and climate change adaptation at regional and national level that develop R+D+I in their respective sectors.


Main transferable projects:

The above mentioned C3E project provides a valuable tool that has been transfer to Latin America: Regional study on the effects of climate change on the coasts of Latin America and the Caribbean, (C3A project), and is now available for use by the countries from the region. The methodology and related tools were developed in the framework of the Iberoamerican Network for Climate Change Offices (RIOCC), with the aim of promoting adaptation measures and performing an economic analysis of their implications in coastal areas.






a) Governance

The OECC is in charge of developing, implementing and monitoring the PNACC. Nevertheless, the OECC performs its tasks together with other Units from the Ministry such as Water, Coastal and Marine Areas, Environmental Assessment, Biodiversity, Forest, Agriculture and Rural Development, AEMET and OAPN, and other Ministries (Health, Transport…). Additionally the OECC works in closed collaboration with the Autonomous Communities, Local Administrations, Research Centres and other stakeholders to implement its lines of action as reflected in the Work Programmes. In this regard, the Working Group on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (GTIA) was created in 2007 with representatives from the Central Administration and the Autonomous Communities, to coordinate adaptation strategies, plans and actions developed at national and regional level. On top of that, there are other coordinating Bodies involved in the PNACC:


The National Climate Council (CNC), linked to the Ministry of Environment, involves different Departments of the National Administration, the Autonomous Communities, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, representatives from research institutions, social actors and nongovernmental organizations. Among its tasks, the Council draws proposals and recommendations to define policies to fight against climate change in the areas of climate change science, impacts and adaptation strategies, as well as strategies to limit GHGs emissions.


The Coordination Commission of Climate Change Policies (CCPCC) is a coordination and collaboration body between the National and Regional Administrations for all matters related to climate change. Local entities are also represented in this Commission.

Some of the functions entrusted to the Coordination Commission of Climate Change Policies are:

  • Follow-up of climate change and adaptation to its effects.
  • Prevention and reduction of GHGs emissions.
  • The promotion of carbon absorption capacity of vegetation.

The Environmental Sector Conference is a political high-level cooperation body with a multilateral composition that brings together members of the Ministry of the Environment, on the State General Administration, and members of the Environmental Council, representing the Administrations of the Autonomous Communities.

The LIFE-SHARA proposal (LIFE15 GIC/ES/000033) has been selected in 2016 for the period 2016-2021. The Spanish Climate Change Office has the technical direction role of the project, with the general objective of strengthening the governance of adaptation and increasing the resilience against climate change.  

LIFE-SHARA brings together partners from Spain and Portugal, and its expected results include improving the Spanish adaptation platform AdapteCCa (in terms of contents and functionalities), involving key stakeholders to work together and mainstream adaptation into their planning and managing activities, expanding the level of awareness and building capacities for adaptation to climate change.

LIFE SHARA lays the grounds for a long term transnational cooperation mechanism between the Adaptation Units of Portugal and Spain, that will catalyze joint actions and projects and will conduct to the organization of the first Iberian Conference on Adaptation to Climate Change.


Adaptation at national and sub national level

Level of Governance


Main Responsibilities

(i.e. policy, planning, project appraisal, monitoring and enforcement, etc.)


Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment

The Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC) is the body within the Central Administration responsible for dealing with climate change issues. It coordinates, manages and follows up the implementation of the Spanish National Climate Change Adaptation Plan and its Work Programmes.


19 Regional Administrations (17 Autonomous Communities and 2 Autonomous Cities)

Each Regional Administration elaborates and implements Adaptation Strategies and Plans according to its vulnerabilities and capacities in coordination with the Spanish National Climate Change Adaptation Plan.

Regional Adaptation  strategies/plans  can be found at

Local (Municipal)


Spanish Cities Network for Climate (RECC).

Voluntary network of municipalities aimed at developing and promoting climate actions such as the establishment of adaptation strategies and plans.

Eighteen Spanish municipalities have already signed the Mayors Adapt Initiative and 138 have signed the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy launched by the European Commission.


Measures to engage the private sector

A pilot project (called Iniciativa ADAPTA) has been developed by the OECC in collaboration with five main national companies in key sectors of the Spanish economy: tourism, energy, transport, construction and food industry, pioneers in adaptation to climate change. Its main aim is to explore adaptation options and tools to incorporate risk and vulnerability considerations into different business strategies. The findings of the project are summarized in a publication, which also contains guidelines to address the needs of adaptation to the impacts of climate change in the private sector. 

A second phase of this pilot project (ADAPTA-2) has recently concluded, with the application of several methods to assess economic costs and benefits of different adaptation measures in two main energy and infrastructure companies.

b) Adaptation capacity, dissemination, education, training

Adaptation platform (Adaptecca)

AdapteCCa platform is a tool for the exchange of information and the enhancement of coordination among administrations and key stakeholders on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. This project is a joint initiative of the Spanish Climate Change Office and the Biodiversity Foundation which arose within the GTIA. It promotes the coordination and transfer of information, knowledge and experiences between the different Spanish administrations and the scientific community, planners and managers, both public and private, and other agents, allowing a multi-directional communication channel between them. AdapteCCa was launched in 2013 after a wide participatory process with potential users and stakeholders to design the structure, contents and functionalities of the platform. Main characteristics of AdapteCCa are:

  • Heart of the platform: Information repository > System that allows to upload, post, store, search and retrieve information on adaptation to climate change.
  • Private space: the platform allows users to create permanent or ad-hoc Working Groups for specific purposes.

Knowledge transfer activities

  • Program on PNACC sectoral workshops. ( See the information below)
  • International cooperation: Spain coordinates the Iberoamerican Network of Climate Change Offices (RIOCC).This network creates a technical space for the exchange of experiences on climate change, including adaptation, and is an opportunity for the identification of synergies, strengths and priorities from a cooperation and support perspective, promoting North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.

Procedures or guidelines to facilitate adaptation

Within the PNACC, several procedures and guidelines have been identified to facilitate adaptation. We can highlight some:

Programmes/activities to promote education and public awareness on impacts and adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change is disseminated in the "Answers to Climate Change from Communication and Education" initiative. This is a permanent learning and cooperation network, driven jointly by CENEAM (National Centre for Environmental Education) and OECC, which brings together nearly a hundred professionals from the educational and communication sector to develop activities with regards to information, communication and education on climate change such as workshops and publications.

Public information campaigns, awareness-raising materials, resource or information centres, etc.

  • Production of educational and awareness raising materials (atlases, data sheets on progress recorded in sectoral assessments, CDs, leaflets). Apart from the materials related to the outcomes of the PNACC, the OECC has compiled and produced its own brochures on the latest findings from the AR5 IPCC .
  • Electronic newsletters with information on the activities carried out within the PNACC (
  • Participation in National and International fora, meetings and events to disseminate the progress of the PNACC.
  • Program on PNACC sectoral workshops: OECC organises jointly with CENEAM periodical sectoral workshops to raise awareness and bring together stakeholders from different fields. The aim of the sessions is the promotion of adaptation through the exchange of knowledge and good practices as well as the discussions on upcoming proposals and projects. Some of the sectoral workshops on the findings of the PNACC have been organised:
    • Climate change and biodiversity conservation
    • Climate change scenarios and regionalization
    • Adaptation to climate change in forestry
    • Biodiversity and forestry
    • Agriculture
    • Marine Environment
    • Mainstreaming climate change adaptation into Protected Areas planning and management
  • Responses to queries and requests for information.


Identify the main target areas and audiences of the main activities

Target areas have been identified according to the priority criteria on vulnerable sectors as identified in the work programmes of the PNACC. Target audience ranges from civil society to scientists and policymakers depending on the activity and material produced.






National coordinating institution

Spanish Climate Change Office (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment)

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