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Last update:Apr 30, 2019

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy
  • Adopted
National Adaptation Plan
  • Adopted
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
  • Completed
  • Completed
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
  • Completed
  • Currently being undertaken
  • Completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate Projections and Services
  • Established
CC IVA portals and platforms
  • Established
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
  • Being developed

 

Monitoring Mechanism Regularion
  • Last reporting on Adaptation (Art. 15) submitted
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

Adaptation Strategies

In 2009 the Swedish Parliament adopted a coherent policy for climate and energy (Prop. 2008/09:162) which includes the initial steps for the Swedish society to adapt to a changing climate. It lays the foundation for a medium-term process to progressively identify the effects of climate change, assess the risks, and develop and implement adaptation measures. It also commits to concrete steps in the further development and implementation of adaptation measures. It follows an integrated approach that takes account of the interactions between sector and regional activities and strives to incorporate consideration of the possible impacts of climate change in all relevant policies.

In 2018, the Swedish Government adopted the National Adaptation Strategy. The strategy outlines mechanisms for coordination, monitoring, evaluation and review of adaptation to climate change. As the work on adaptation cuts across many different disciplines, it is to a large extent guided by existing legislation, frameworks and targets, both national and international. Examples include the work on Agenda 2030 and the Swedish Environmental Quality Objectives. Adaptation action plans To underpin the national strategy with specific action, the regional government offices have adopted 21 regional action plans covering the whole of Sweden with nearly 800 proposed actions. The main actions proposed in the plans concern flood protection, protection of drinking water, shoreline protection, infrastructure (roads, railways), adaptation of agriculture and forestry, resilience for heat waves and health care. An overview of the adaptation action plans undertaken in the regions is available as a summary.

Many national authorities have developed, or are in the process of developing, action plans for the sectors for which they are responsible. Some local authorities have also developed adaptation action plans for their municipality.

Implementation means

Many Swedish authorities play an important role in adaptation work through their respective sectoral responsibilities and are working on preventive measures, building knowledge and improving resilience. To underpin the National Adaptation Strategy with specific actions the Government decided in June 2018 on an ordinance which mandates 32 national authorities and the 21 County Administrative Boards to initiate, support and follow up on adaptation within their area of responsibility, including to develop action plans. Several national authorities had already developed action plans for the sectors that fall under their responsibility. So far, sectors that have received national funds for developing such plans include:

  • forestry,
  • human health,
  • construction/land use and
  • reindeer herding/sami culture.

In June 2018, the National Board on Planning, Building and Housing was given a coordinating role in relation to adaptation within physical planning. The Government has issued amendments to the Planning and Building Act proposed in the National Adaptation Strategy and approved by the Riksdag in June 2018. The changes in legislation require the municipalities to give their views in the master plan on the risk of damage to the built environment that may followed by climate-related landslides, erosion and floods. The municipalities will also give their views on how such risks can be reduced or eliminated. The changes to the law also give municipalities the power to place demands on land permeability in the detailed planning rules.

The Government finances measures to improve knowledge about the impacts of climate change and adaptation, for example by implementing prevention measures against landslides and flooding. For 2018, the budget is increased to SEK 214 million and for 2019 to SEK 317 million. The Government also distributes assignments related to various measures to sector agencies. Most adaptation issues are, however, multidisciplinary, meaning that work on climate adaptation is largely performed in collaboration between different actors and sectors at the national, regional and local levels.

Sweden has a well-established and functioning framework for disaster risk reduction (DRR), including work in forums for crisis preparedness. The work is coordinated by the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB). Cooperation is promoted on all levels and between sectors and actors working with land use planning, risk management, natural disasters and climate adaptation, in order to reduce risks and enhance preparedness. Several coordination forums currently exist in Sweden where sector agencies and other stakeholders can share experiences and plan key actions.

There is a National network for adaptation, promoting both vertical and horizontal cooperation, including the 21 counties, and 19 Government agencies. The secretariat for the network is provided by SMHI.

Monitoring, reporting and evaluation

According to the Regulation, the national and regional authorities included shall report on their work on adaptation yearly. The forms for this reporting are under development. The regional authorities are responsible for monitoring the work of the municipalities.

Schedule and planned review/revision

There is a five-year evaluation-cycle for the National Adaptation Strategy. The first step will be a vulnerability analysis, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the strategy, and proposals for revisions of the strategy, followed by an updated strategy in 2023. The Government has established an Expert Council on Adaptation at the SMHI as proposed in the Strategy. The Council is tasked with evaluating adaptation progress for this revision.

Sectors addressed in NAS/NAP

Adpatation action should take place within several sectors and geographical areas. Based on the consequences for society, the following fields have been identified as particularly pressing in the national strategy:

  • Landslides and erosion that threatens communities, infrastructure and businesses
  • Floods that threaten communities, infrastructure and businesses
  • High temperatures that mean risks to health and well-being for humans and animals
  • Lack of water resources for people, farms or industry
  • Biological and ecological effects that impact sustainable development
  • Impacts on domestic and international food production and trade
  • Increased occurrence of pest, diseases and invasive foreign species that impact humans, animals and plants.

In addition, each sectoral authority has responsibility for adaptation within their sector, and in the cases where they have developed action plans these are focused on the priority action identified for each sector. These are currently being implemented at different timescales.

Observations and projections

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) is responsible for meeting the meteorological and hydrological requirements arising from all areas of the Swedish economy and society. The SMHI plays an important role in providing services to the government and other administrations at regional and local level in terms of climate monitoring. This includes the provision of climate projections for the planning and preparation of adaptation measures. At the SMHI webpage climate scenarios are presented on maps, as diagrams and as downloadable data. There is also information explaining the results and how they have been reached. An introduction to climate scenarios is available. There is also a guidance (in Swedish) that provides support for interpreting and using climate scenarios.

The Rossby Centre is offering further open access to climate-relevant data. Other weather related observational data is also freely available and can be downloaded at the site for open data. New and emerging research and decision support is added continuously to the website. In 2018, new information on the effects of global sea level rise on Sweden was added. The National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation with support from Rossby Centre, offers products, advisory services and decision-relevant knowledge (see below). Through the portal klimatanpassning.se information can be found on climate change, climate-relevant research in Sweden, climate adaptation initiatives and stakeholders.

Regional climate change analysis for all 21 Swedish regions was carried out during 2015. The reports include scenarios for about 15 climate indexes with the future development in comparisons between the past and the situation today. The scenarios are also available as national geographic information layers in an open accessible database.

Impact and Vulnerability Assessment

The first vulnerability assessment of climate change impacts in Sweden was initiated in 2005 and resulted in a report to the Government in 2007 (Sweden facing climate change – threats and opportunities; SOU 2007:60). The report covered the Swedish society's vulnerability to global climate change, and regional and local impacts of these changes and an assessment of the damage costs climate change may give rise to. The report ‘Climate Change Adaptation in Sweden – an overview' compiles the agency assignments proposed for climate adaptation in 2007. An up-to-date assessment has been reported to the Government on 4 March 2015.

Several authorities, and all 21 regions, have carried out action plans, which include vulnerability assessments, for their area of responsibility. As part of the implementation of the Regulation on adaptation that entered into force in January 2019, a systematic approach to vulnerability assessments is now being developed by SMHI.

The Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI) has executed a landslide risk mapping for Göta river valley between 2009 to 2012.The report contains a comprehensive risk analysis incorporating calculations of the probability of landslides and evaluation of the consequences that could arise from such incidents. An overall cost assessment of the geotechnical aspects of the stabilising measures has been conducted in the areas with a high landslide risk.

SMHI has analysed a number of cases of adaptation action in order to quantify the costs and benefits. For example, in one case study the analysis shows that installing a new filter in a water treatment facility in Gothenburg, at a cost of approximately EUR 40 million, will deliver benefits worth over  EUR 250 billion in the form of reduced economic losses through sickness. The measure affects around half a million people, and is partly financed through green bonds.

Research

Examples of research programmes, institutions and activities:

  • FORMAS national research programme on climate i one of seven national research programmes.
  • Mistra Urban Futures is a centre for sustainable urban development. It provides an arena for the development and transfer of knowledge, where interaction with industry, interest groups and the general public will be developed.
  • Mistra-SWECIA is an interdisciplinary research programme on climate, impacts and adaptation. The programme brings together researchers in the fields of climate science, economics, life sciences and social sciences. The programme was completed in 2015.
  • BECC, Biodiversity and ecosystem services in a changing climate, is a strategic research field where the universities of Lund and Gothenburg collaborate. The vision is to create a leading interdisciplinary research programme on the relationships between climate, ecosystem services and biodiversity.
  • Centre for Climate and Security, Karlstad University, is a national knowledge centre financed by the Civil Contingency Agency. Alongside research, the Centre carries out educational activities aimed at younger schoolchildren. They have also developed pedagogic materials such as interactive games and role play connected to adaptation and risk management.
  • Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research (CSPR) at Linköping University is a interdisciplinary centre focusing on studies related to climate science and policy research. Research topics revolve around mitigation and adaptation to a changing world climate, in Sweden and internationally, as well as the use of natural resources and sustainable development.
  • Centre for Environmental and Climate Research, CEC, is a combined physical and virtual centre at Lund University. CEC conducts research, education and communication on environmental sciences and climate research.
  • IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a broad environmental profile, combining applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. The research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and systems thinking. IVL publish an annual Report on the progress of adaptation work in Swedish municipalities (in Swedish).
  • Stockholm Environment Institute, SEI is an international nonprofit research organization with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. SEI bridges science and policy to find robust responses to the challenges of sustainability.
  • Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, a Centre of Excellence within Umeå University. Their mission is to engage with a global agenda on health research, addressing critical issues in global health and facilitating interaction and collaboration between Northern and Southern partners
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) carries out resarch within four interdisciplinary research programmes within the fields of forests, agriculture, animal health and welfare, and also urban environment.

Monitoring progress

According to the Regulation, the national and regional authorities included shall report on their work on adaptation yearly. The forms for this reporting are under development. The regional authorities are responsible for monitoring the work of the municipalities.

There is a five-year evaluation-cycle for the National Adaptation Strategy. The first step will be a vulnerability analysis, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the strategy, and proposals for revisions of the strategy, followed by an updated strategy in 2023. The Government has established an Expert Council on Adaptation at the SMHI as proposed in the Strategy. The Council is tasked with evaluating adaptation progress for this revision.

    Governance

    The Ministry of the Environment and Energy has the overall responsibility for coordinating the Governments policy work on climate change including follow up on adaptation through the National Expert Council at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). As a result of the National Adaptation Strategy the Government gave in June 2018 the National Board on Planning, Building and Housing a coordinating role in relation to adaptation within physical planning.

    In 2012, SMHI was tasked to form the National Knowledge Centre for Adaptation, to assist municipalities, regions, authorities and other stakeholders in their adaptation efforts. In 2018, the Centre has a budget of approximately SEK 18 million. Many Swedish authorities play an important role in adaptation work through their respective sectoral responsibilities and are working on preventive measures, building knowledge and improving resilience.

    To underpin the National Adaptation Strategy with specific actions the Government decided in June 2018 on an ordinance which mandates 32 national authorities and the 21 County Administrative Boards to initiate, support and follow up on adaptation within their area of responsibility, including to develop action plans. Several national authorities had already developed action plans for the sectors that fall under their responsibility. So far, sectors that have received national funds for developing such plans include

    • forestry,
    • human health,
    • construction/land use and
    • reindeer herding/sami culture.

    The regional government offices (County Administrative Boards, or CABs) are responsible for coordinating the regional adaptation work and supporting local actors in their adaptation work. The CABs adopted in 2014 regional action plans on which they report annually to the Government about the actions taken to adapt to climate change. These plans cover the entire country of Sweden with nearly 800 proposed actions. The main actions proposed in the plans concern

    • flood protection,
    • protection of drinking water,
    • shoreline protection, infrastructure (roads, railways),
    • adaptation of agriculture and forestry,
    • resilience for heatwaves and
    • health care.

    There is a National network for adaptation, promoting both vertical and horizontal cooperation, including the 21 counties, and 19 Government agencies. The secretariat for the network is provided by SMHI. There are also national networks for thematic cooperation. Some local authorities have also developed adaptation action plans for their municipality. Significant progress and increased awareness of the importance of adaptation have been achieved in the last few years, at all levels of society.

    To spur the process further the Government has issued amendments to the Planning and Building Act proposed in the National Adaptation Strategy and approved by the Riksdag in June 2018. The changes in legislation require the municipalities to give their views in the master plan on the risk of damage to the built environment that may followed by climate-related races, slides, erosion and floods. The municipalities will also give their views on how such risks can diminish or cease. The law changes also give municipalities the put demands on land permeability in the detailed planning rules.

    Knowledge

    To ensure efficient knowledge transfer and consistent and coordinated approaches to actions, the Government has tasked the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI) to run a National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation. The ‘Knowledge Centre' is a resource for everybody with a responsibility for, or interest in, Sweden's adaptation to impacts of climate change (see above). The Knowledge Centre runs the Swedish portal for climate change adaptation, which is intended to support society and citizens preparing for climate change consequences. The portal offers comprehensive information and support within a number of areas. A main target group for the work has been officials and politicians at the local and regional level. However, the Centre strives to assist the whole of society to adapt to climate change, and has developed a wide range of communication materials such as films, games and education materials for schools. The portal contains information about

    • the effects of climate change,
    • risk management,
    • how an adaptation plan can be developed and
    • examples of how climate change adaptation can be integrated into the daily work.

    The portal provides information to support both short and long-term adaptation. The main target group for the portal is currently municipalities and county administrative boards. The portal is a result of the cooperation between eighteen Swedish governmental agencies - in collaboration with Sweden's municipalities and county councils. Every agency is responsible for their area of expertise and the combination gives a broad spectrum of information. At regular intervals a dialogue is held between the agencies to gradually develop the portal. There is also a discussion between the Nordic portals and the EU portal. Several major conferences and seminars on adaptation themes are held in Sweden every year. In 2018, a Nordic conference on climate change adaptation was held in Norrköping, organised by SMHI, the City of Norrköping and Linköping University. The conference attracted over 400 participants, mainly from the Nordic countries, and disseminated knowledge and the latest research within a wide range of adaptation fields.

    Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)

    National knowledge centre for adaptation to climate change

    Åsa Sjöström

    Manager of the National knowledge centre for adaptation to climate change

    Folkborgsvägen 17

    Tel (+46) 114958218

    Mail asa.sjostrom@smhi.com 

    Website www.smhi.se 

    [Disclaimer]
    The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to the Monitoring Mechanism Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 525/2013) and updates by the EEA member countries