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Information on national adaptation actions reported under the Governance Regulation

Reporting updated until: 2023-03-11

Item Status Links
National Adaptation Strategy (NAS)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
National Adaptation Plan (NAP)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
Other (specify below)
  • actual adaptation policy (adopted)
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
  • Established
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
The circumstances making the Netherlands vulnerable for the impacts of climate change – and hence the biggest drivers for taking climate adaptation measures – are:
- The relatively long coastline, combined with the fact that 26% of the country is situated below sea level, makes is necessary to continuously ensure protection against sea level rise.
- As a large part of the Netherlands is lowland situated in a delta, it is vulnerable for flooding from rivers. The most challenging situation occurs when flood barriers in the coastline have to be closed while rivers continue to bring rain- and melting water into the delta area.
- The Netherlands is densely populated, with a large part of the surface area covered by urban areas and roads (in total 13%) and a very large pert being used for agriculture (54%). As a result, nature in The Netherlands is relatively sparse and scattered making it more vulnerable to climate change, particularly drought, and vice versa not suited well to temper the effects of climate change.
- As many people live in urban areas, the population is vulnerable for heat stress with rising temperatures and the creation of “heat islands”.
- As The Netherlands has been dealing with water for centuries, infrastructure has been developed to drain and dispose of (excessive) water as fast as possible, which is counterproductive in longer periods of drought.
- Due to changing weather patterns the Netherlands faces more and more relatively long drought periods (April-August). At the same time, changing weather patterns also results in heavy rainfall, increasing the risk of flooding in urban areas.
- The Netherlands is the second most densely populated country in Europe, with 17.8 million inhabitants concentrated on an area of 41,545 square km (including water surface, the land surface being 33,481 square km).
- The population in The Netherlands is aging, making the country more vulnerable for heat related events.
- The Netherlands has a gross annual domestic product of about 950 billion Euros.
- The Netherlands has an excellent infrastructure of ports (ie Rotterdam and Amsterdam), airports (Amsterdam), roads, rail and (inland) waterways. It also has highly developed energy and telecommunications systems.
- As nearly 60% of the country's area is susceptible to large scale coastal and river flooding, flood risk management and adaptation to sea level rise are essential for its existence. The “national Delta Programme” is in place to protect the Netherlands from flooding (as well as, to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh water, and to contribute to rendering the Netherlands climate-proof and water-resilient). There are two different ‘systems’ of flood defences in the Netherlands: (1) A system of ‘primary’ flood defences – such as dunes, levees, dams and storm surge barriers – protecting us from flooding by the sea, estuaries, large lakes and rivers, failure of which would cause a safety issue and large damage. (2) A secondary system for smaller ‘regional’ flood defences (mainly levees) that protect against flooding from canals and smaller streams and lakes. Both systems have safety standards, determined by risk analyses.
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) provides observations on atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial indicators, including data on extreme weather. The KNMI maintains long time series on variables such as temperature and precipitation extremes (including heatwaves and hail) as well as the potential precipitation shortage, and the frequency and intensity of windstorms. The indicators can be used to generate impact indicators, which can be grouped into three main categories: economic damage, damage to the environment (including nature) and to human society (including casualties).

The KNMI developed climate scenarios for climate change in the Netherlands. The most recent ones are the KNMI’14 scenarios, which are based on the fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC. For the KNMI’14 assessment, four climate change scenarios have been used for 2050 and 2085, differing in the amount of global warming (Moderate or Warm) or possible changes in the air circulation pattern (Low or High). The four scenarios provide the changes of 12 climate variables, including temperature, precipitation, sea level, wind and storm, hail and thunder, clouds and solar radiation, evaporation, and drought. A new set of climate scenario’s for the Netherlands will be published in the fall of 2023 (KNMI’23), aligned with the sixth assessment Report (AR6) of the IPCC and translated to the Dutch situation in order to deliver state-of-the-art and nationally specific climate information.

For the Delta Programme, Delta Scenarios are used, which are plausible views of future climatic and socio-economic trends, looking ahead to 2050 and 2100. These Delta Scenarios are based on the KNMI’14 climate scenarios as well as on the socio-economic scenarios of the Netherlands Central Planning Agency (CPB) and the Netherlands Environmental Agency (PBL). In the latter the potential impact of socio-economic trends on the use of land, water, and space up to 2050 are considered. The Delta Scenarios are actualised in 2017.

Under the Delta Programme, the “Knowledge Programme Sea Level Rise” has been established. This programme primarily focusses on the impact of sea level rise on water safety and fresh water supply. This includes effects of sea level rise on the Dutch economy, spatial planning, agriculture, and nature. The programme is not limited to effects and solutions for this century, but also explores the period after 2100.

The national agency Rijkswaterstaat is responsible for measuring all kind of parameters regarding the North Sea, coastal waters and the main rivers, including the water levels along the coast and in the main rivers. Rijkswaterstaat provides online information on water levels along the coast and in the main rivers and predicts these six hours before they occur.

Wildfires are monitored by the 25 safety regions in the Netherlands.
The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) provided downscaled climate scenarios for the Netherlands in 2014 (KNMI’14), as successor for the scenarios from 2006. For this, the KNMI provided in additional calculations to the IPCC reports, based on the KNMI climate models “EC-Earth” and “RACMO”. With these models, KNMI generated more than 1200 year on climate data for the Netherlands, with a spatial resolution of roughly 10 km (already 4 times as high as used for the KNMI'06-scenario's).

The KNMI’14 scenarios are available for the climatological (30-year) periods centred at 2030, 2050 and 2085. They contain a broad range of climate variables, from long-term annual average, to the frequency and intensity of climate/weather extremes.

Uncertainty is of course inherent to science and the challenge is to minimize the uncertainty. As it is a complex issue and the models cover many different topics and a huge amount of data, it is impossible to go in to detail an all aspects of uncertainties and challenges. Please find an in-depth description of specifications and justification of the construction of the latest scenarios can be found in the KNMI library (https://cdn.knmi.nl/[…]/WR2014-01.pdf?1640102170). However, the biggest uncertainty for the long term is the development of global climate policies, which cannot be solved by further improving models.

KNMI provides an overview of national observations about temperature, precipitation, sea level, wind and storm, hail and thunder, clouds and solar radiation, evaporation, and drought. These national observations can be used to detect climate change in the Netherlands.

Climate impacts are included in the Dutch Climate Effect Atlas (https://www.klimaateffectatlas.nl/en/), which has been published in September 2017 and updated in 2020. The Atlas provides an initial impression of the (future) threats of flooding, waterlogging, drought, and heat. It has a zoom function and includes several indicators for each threat. Several map layers are available for each of the topics. The Atlas is based on national data and is among others connected to the KNMI’14-scenarios. Use of the atlas is free. Municipalities and other actors use the Climate Effect Atlas to make a first assessment of possible consequences of climate change through a stress test.
Note1: The Netherlands prepared CONCEPTUAL DIAGRAMS to quickly get an overview of all the stressors and affected sectors. These visuals are the easiest way to provide the required information:
• Warmer: https://klimaatadaptatiened[…]imate_scheme_warmer_v18.pdf
• Wetter: https://klimaatadaptatiened[…]imate_scheme_wetter_v18.pdf
• Drier: https://klimaatadaptatiened[…]mate_scheme_drought_v18.pdf
• Rising sea level: https://klimaatadaptatiened[…]eme_rising_sealevel_v18.pdf

Other sources:
https://www.pbl.nl/sites/de[…]aptatiestrategie-final.pdf,
https://www.pbl.nl/[…]/PBL-2015-Adaptation-to-climage-change-1632.pdf,
https://www.pbl.nl/[…]/Aanpassen_aan_klimaatverandering_WEB_2.pdf

Note 2: The Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) started the work on updating the risks and impacts due to climate change. The update of the current risks and impact is expected to be available end 2023. The update of the future risks, based on the KNMI climate scenario’s that will be available end 2023, will be ready end 2025.
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Observed climate hazards
WaterAcuteDrought
Flood
Heavy precipitation
ChronicChanging precipitation patterns and types
Precipitation hydrological variability
Saline intrusion
Sea level rise
Water scarcity
Solid massAcute
ChronicCoastal_erosion
Sol degradation
TemperatureAcuteHeat wave
Wildfire
ChronicChanging temperature
WindAcute
Chronic
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Future climate hazards Qualitative trend
WaterAcuteDroughtsignificantly increasing
Floodsignificantly increasing
Heavy precipitationsignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging precipitation patterns and typessignificantly increasing
Precipitation hydrological variabilitysignificantly increasing
Saline intrusionsignificantly increasing
Sea level risesignificantly increasing
Water scarcitysignificantly increasing
Solid massAcute
ChronicCoastal erosionsignificantly increasing
Sol degradationsignificantly increasing
TemperatureAcuteHeat wavesignificantly increasing
Wildfiresignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging temperaturesignificantly increasing
WindAcute
Chronic
Temperature-related hazards faced in the Netherlands are
v(1) Changing temperature (abnormally warm overall temperatures during one or more seasons, resulting in changes in ecosystems an impacts on health),
v(2) Heat waves (causing health problems and death among the vulnerable (elderly, sick)),
v(3) Wildfires (resulting in destruction of ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, health problems due to increased particulate matter concentrations).

Water-related hazards occurring in the Netherlands are
v(4) changing precipitation patterns and (5) precipitation and/or hydrological variability (heavy rainfall in short periods causes flooding and corresponding economic losses and risk of drowning / longer periods of drought also cause economic losses as well as biodiversity loss),
v(6) saline intrusion (affecting nature in coastal areas and creating a risk for both drinking water quality and agricultural activities in coastal areas),
v(7) sea level rise (requiring reinforcement of coastal protection as well as creating difficulties in discarding river water),
v(8) water scarcity and (9) drought (resulting in ecosystem deterioration, reduced agricultural productivity, reduced navigability of rivers) and
v(10) floods (resulting in economic damage).

Hazards related to solid mass faced in the Netherlands are
v(11) coastal erosion (resulting in additional costs for renovation and repairs)
v(12) soil degradation and soil erosion (resulting in reduction of agricultural and ecosystem productivity).

Other hazards faced in the Netherlands:
(13) increasing presence and spread of species (insects, plants) which cause damage in agriculture and forestry (f.e. some beetles) or cause health problems (caterpillars of some butterflies with irritating hairs, poisonous invasive plants).
As a (mainly) temperature related secondary effect of climate change in the Netherland is increased spread of (invasive) species.

Key affected sectors

Key affected sector(s)energy
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentEnergy supply in the Netherlands is a mix of oil, gas, and electricity (from coal, gas, nuclear and renewable). The vulnerability of the supply and distribution of oil and gas to weather extremes is low. Only in case of large-scale floods effects are to be expected. Production and distribution of electricity is the part of the Dutch energy supply that is most sensitive to weather extremes (in 2021, 33% of the electricity production in the Netherlands cam). Production of electricity in the Netherlands is particularly vulnerable for limited availably of cooling water due to low water levels because of long-lasting drought. If multiple power plants are affected with water shortage, chances are the (international) main electricity grid will fail. The consequences of such a black out can be disruptive for society. The likelihood of extreme drought will be high around 2050, but whether this will indeed lead to disruption of electricity supply highly depends on measures taken in the coming decades to improve the resilience of the electricity system. As the main (inter)national and regional transmission network is to a large extent overhead, the risk for disruptions during floods is small. Distribution of electricity via this network can be at risk in case of damage due to severe storm (fallen pylons). This occurred in 2010 when pylons fell due to gusts of wind, which affected 30.000 households. Electricity supply was restored within one hour. Local electricity networks are mainly subterranean which makes it vulnerable for damage due to falling trees. Inundation and thunderbolts can affect substations and transformers. Alternative energy productions based on wind and solar energy help spreading risks, but also add additional risks related to weather extremes. Wind energy parks will be disconnected in case of severe wind.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. As the main and regional transmission network have redundant pathways, the risk of failure due to loss of components is low. However, when disruptions occur, effects can be significant. For local networks the redundancy is limited, but the effects of failures will be much smaller than for failures in the main and regional networks. The adaptive capacity is large. The sector has a very short response time, enabling them to act quickly when incidents occur. The situation regarding the worst-case scenario is less certain. The current analysis of the Dutch Environmental Agency needs to increase the knowledge on this.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentProbably this century • High risk: Disruption of the electricity network due to a prolonged period of heat and drought or due to a prolonged lack of wind. • Medium risk: Local failure of energysupply due to weather extremes. Probably in the next 10 years • Medium risk: Increased electricity prices due to lack of cooling water or lack of wind throughour Europe. • Medium risk: Local shortage of electricity due to storm or due to prying of tree roots. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)ICT (information and communications technology)
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentThe ICT network in the Netherlands can be divided in the main (inter-)national network, the regional network and the local distribution network. The Netherlands hosts computer, data, and switching centres including some of the main nodes in the world. Transport takes place via underground cables and wireless. Outage of central parts of the ICT networks can have a big impact, as it can lead to disruption of many (vital) processes, such as energy supply, phone connections (including communication networks for emergency services) and payment transaction. There is a strong interlinkage with the electricity network. Disruptive effects of climate change on ICT networks are only expected in case of severe floods and failure of data centres due to overheating. Cabled networks can be affected by prying of tree roots during storms, falling trees and wildfires. The effects are deemed small and local. Wind and wildfires can also lead to failure of antenna masts. Floods can create shortcuts in local switch boxes as well as other supporting elements.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. As the main and regional networks have redundant pathways, the risk of failure due to loss of components is low. However, when disruptions occur, effects can be significant. For local networks the redundancy is limited, but the effects of failures will be much smaller than for failures in the main and regional networks. Further analysis is needed to provide insights in the adaptive needs for the worst-case scenario.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentProbably this century • Medium risk: Failure of ICT-nodes outside the Netherlands due to weatherextrems. • Medium risk: Large failure ICT-services due to overheating. • Medium risk: Wildfires with local failure of ICT and transport. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)transport
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentThe assessment of the transport system covers the transport sector (water, road, rail, and air) as well as transport of drinking water. The transport sector (road, rail, water, and air) increasingly experiences inconveniences caused by weather extremes such as heavy rainfall, storm, and drought. On the other hand, will the sector benefit from wintertime being more mildly. Inland shipping will face both problems due to low water levels as to high water levels. In case of prolonged drought, water levels in rivers will become low, reducing the possibility to transport goods via shipping. When the water level is too high, some bridges might be impossible to cross. Air traffic is mainly affected by winter conditions (snow, frost), which will occur less frequent, or be less severe, due to climate change. As a result, air traffic will most likely benefit from climate change. Reduction of winter conditions is also beneficial to rail transport, but as rail is much more vulnerable for heat (failure of electric equipment and expanding rails), wildfires and fallen trees, the sector will be negatively affected by climate change. Road transport will face similar benefits and disadvantages as transport via railways. Expanding materials will mainly affect bridges. Storm and extreme rainfall negatively impact road conditions, leading to economic damage. The transport of drinkin water via underground pipes is vulnerable to damage caused by prying of tree roots during periods of severe wind as well as subsidence.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. As the main and regional transport systems have redundant pathways via alternative routes, the risk of complete disruption is low, but closure of roads can increase transport times significantly, leading to economic damage. The adaptive capacity is large. The sector has a very short response time, enabling it to act quickly when incidents occur. Adaptation measures are taken via regular maintenance and updates of the infrastructure. The situation regarding the worst-case scenario is less certain. The current analysis of the Environmental Agency needs to increase the knowledge on this.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentProbably this century • High risk: Reduced inland shipping due to extreme low or high water levels. • Medium risk: Disruption of (rail/road)traffic due to storm damage of wildfires. • Medium risk: Wildfires with local failure of ICT and transport. • High risk: Damage to buildings and pipes due to subsidence. Probably in the next 10 years • High risk: Traffic disruption by gusts of wind and heavy rainfall. • Medium risk: Hindrance of rail transport due to heat. • High risk: Damages due the drinkwater system due to prying of tree roots during periods of severe wind. • Medium risk: Local flooding due to heavy rainfal. • Medium risk: Loss of productive Dutch industry due to climate effects abroad. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)agriculture and food
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentThe impact of climate change on agriculture in the Netherlands could either be positive or negative. Higher average temperatures and CO2-concentrations increase crop yields and enable the cultivation of new crops (such as grapes). More intense hail, rain as well as drought on the other hand, lead to a decrease in crop yields. It is not clear what the exact (economic) impact will be. In case of small-scale loss of crops due to hail and rain, the farmers income will lower, as it won’t affect prices. Damage for the sector in case of drought is difficult to estimate as its impact is much bigger. Prices will increase due to a reduction in the supply of certain crops, which might dampen the economic losses. Higher temperatures could result in significant damage for agriculture due to an increased risk to plagues and (plant and animal) diseases. Raw materials for the agricultural sector are increasingly being imported. As a result, crop failure abroad might lead to loss of production in the Netherlands of larger price fluctuations. The latter will also affect other sectors of the national trade chains.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. The agricultural sector has shown to be very resilient. As yields fluctuate, damages in one year have always been covered by higher yields in successive years. Hence the biggest climate related risk is successive years with reduced yields/income. Adaptive capacity is high as the sector can relatively easy change to different crops, however, it lacks sufficient options to act against (recurrent) weather extremes. On a global scale, trade in agricultural products increased, which led to dependency of prices to crop yields in other countries. As a result, agriculture in the Netherlands is more and more dependent on climate effects in other parts of the world. This could have a positive effect on prices for Dutch famers (which, at the same time, will have a detrimental effect for consumers).
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentUnlikely this century • Medium risk: Cropdamage due to plague of plantdiseases. Probably this century • High risk: Cropdamage due to successive periods of drought. • Medium risk: Cropdamage due to weather extremes. • Medium risk: Incerease in prices of food due to prolonged drought in Europe. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)biodiversity (including ecosystembased approaches); forestry
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentMany parts of the Dutch nature are already under pressure (eutrophication, salinization, desiccation, and fragmentation) and climate change will accelerate the deterioration. An additional risk arises when in case of adaptation measures such as building of enforcing dykes, nature is not taken into consideration. Higher temperatures accelerate eutrophication as well as evaporation. Effects of climate change to nature can be local and reversible, but it is also possible that irreversible damage will be caused to nature areas. A rapid rise in sea level, can damage the Dutch system of salt marshes and sand flats beyond repair leading to a loss of this valuable nature areas. Valuable nature around estuaries can disappear if exposed to frequent extremely low levels of water. Due to the shift of climate zones, species and habitats will deteriorate and ultimately disappear from the Netherlands. Higher temperatures also affect migrating animals (birds, fish). Climate change can increase mineralisation of peat soils, leading to higher emissions of CO2 and an acceleration of subsidence. Subsidence leads to changes in hydrological, chemical and biological processes in soils and has detrimental effects on our archaeological soil archive.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. Adaptive capacity is limited, due to the current stresses Dutch nature already faces.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Assessment• Low risk: Damage the Dutch system of salt marshes and sand flats beyond repair leading to a loss of this valuable nature areas. • Medium risk: Loss of species and habitats due to extremely low water levels in rivers and estuaries. • Medium risk: Changes in migration patterns of birds and fish. High impact on nature. • Medium risk: Temporarily disruption of habitats due to repetitive droughts. • Medium risk: Changes in subsidence and hydrological, chemical and biological processes in soils. • Medium risk: Enhanced detrimental effects to nature and environment due to drought and eutrophication. • High risk: Deterioration (or even loss) of species due to shifting climate zones. • High risk: Deterioration of ecological water quality due to rising temperatures (locally intensified by discharge of cooling water. • High risk: Temporarily disruption of ecosystem by weather extremes (except extreme drought). • High risk: Increase CO2-emission by enhanced subsidence. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)health
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentPublic health will be negatively affected by climate change. Next to threats of flooding, storm and lightning, the main effects to public health will be caused by weather extremes directly linked to the increased global average temperature. The number as well as intensity of heatwaves will increase, which will lead to premature mortality of vulnerable groups, especially in inner cities. The extension and intensification of the pollen season will lead to an increased number of cases of hay fever and asthma resulting in additional use of medication as well as more premature deaths. Higher temperatures can also lead to a growing presence of ticks, increasing the risk of Lyme disease, as well as the introduction of new infectious diseases. Higher temperatures will also increase surface water temperature, leading to eutrophication (cyanobacteria). More intense rainfall will result in more overflow of sewage systems, resulting in reduced water quality and an increase in the risk of infectious diseases.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentFor vulnerability, see under “Observed impacts of key hazards” and “likelihood of occurrence”. Risks related to diseases and plagues are uncertain and rather whimsical. Next to this, it is not only a result of climate change, but also caused by the intensification of global transport. Adaptive capacity for health and climate change is limited, hence monitoring and surveillance is important to discover potential threats in an early stage. sAdaptive capacity for heat stress is moderate to large but requires significant efforts in the use and construction of both public and private spaces.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentUnlikely this century • Medium risk: Epidemic with new diseases (at least new for th NL). Probably in the next 10 years • High risk: Heatstress in cities. • High risk: Increased medical costs and loss of labour due to prolongation of the pollen season (hay fever, asthma). • High risk: Increase in the number of people with Lyme disease. • High risk: Increase in infectious disease due te reduced water quality. • Medium risk: Call for emergency assistance from other countries. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf
Key affected sector(s)coastal areas; water management
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudehigh
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe Netherlands is well protected against flooding of the main rivers, lakes, and the sea. The Deltaworks – dykes, dunes, and sea barriers – protect the floodable areas of the Netherlands. The current acceptable level of flood risk for the primary flood defences can be seen in the current statutory standards for flood protection set out in the Water Act of 2017. The act indicates the safety for primary flood defence structures that, either alone or in combination with high ground, provides protection against flooding. Standards are expressed in categories of ‘maximum acceptable flooding hazard’, starting at 1/300 per year up to 1/100.000 per year (and one stretch of 1/1.000.000 per year for the flood defence protecting a nuclear power plant). The maximum acceptable flooding hazard is based on the number of citizens protected and the economic value protected by the dyke. All flood defences in the Netherlands will meet these standards progressively towards 2050.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentAfter 2050, further reinforcement of the defence system will be carried out to ensure meeting the safety standards in the future when the effects of climate change become larger. The ‘Knowledge Programme Sea Level Rise’ studies the effect of sea level rise on the safety system and user functions and assesses the maximum potential of the current flood defence system. The knowledge programme also investigates new options and alternative solutions. The goal is to ensure safety for the Netherlands (even) when the sea level rises more with more than 2 meters, and to identify actions on spatial planning we must take now or in the near future, to make sure we can take the necessary steps in the future (or to identify things we should not do to avoid lock-ins). The result of these studies will be available in the coming years.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentUnlikely this century • Medium risk: Floods due to collapsing of the primairy water defense system. • Medium risk: Flood due to bursting of dykes in Germany. • Medium risk: Impact of political conflicts around the world. Probably this century • Medium risk: Floods due to collapsing of the secundairy water defense system. Probably in the next 10 years • Medium risk: Local flooding due to heavy rainfal. • Medium risk: Loss of productive Dutch industry due to climate effects abroad. https://www.pbl.nl/sites/default/files/downloads/Van-risicobeoordeling-naar-adaptatiestrategie-final.pdf

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

The Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) is legally obliged to provide observations on atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial indicators, including data on expected extreme weather conditions. The KNMI uses red/orange/green codes to inform the public about extreme weather events.

Vulnerability assessments are generally realised through national studies and European research projects. The most important national efforts include reports from the Delta Programme, The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) and the Knowledge for Climate programme.

The national agency Rijkswaterstaat has a programme on Climate resilient networks. In the context of this programme, Rijkswaterstaat works together with other partners, to examine the impact climate change has on the main roads, rivers, and canals in the Netherlands and to identify possible solutions.

Sources:
https://www.pbl.nl/sites/de[…]aptatiestrategie-final.pdf,
https://www.pbl.nl/[…]/PBL-2015-Adaptation-to-climage-change-1632.pdf,
https://www.pbl.nl/[…]/Aanpassen_aan_klimaatverandering_WEB_2.pdf
The National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) describes the main climate risks the Netherlands faces and sets the course for addressing these risks. Under the NAS, plans and actions have been identified, set out in the NAS Implementation Programme 2018 – 2019. This programme does not specify which party will take up which actions, nor which budget is allocated. A new National Adaptation Plan is planned for 2023 and will also give clarity about the parties responsible for different actions.

The NAS has been evaluated in 2021 and 2022 and will be revised in the coming years. The Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) started working on updating the assessment of risks and impacts of climate change. The update of the current risks and impact is expected to be available end 2023. The update of the future risks will be ready end 2025. The latter will be based on the new Dutch climate scenario’s that will be made available by the KNMI at the end of 2023. Both the evaluation and the update of impact and risks are essential sources for a new NAS. The new NAS will also include a comprehensive national monitoring scheme for climate adaptation. PBL recently started preparations for the drafting of this monitoring scheme.

The Delta Programme 2015 (DP) – and continued by its successors – contained five Delta Decisions and preferential strategies for different topics and regions. The DP monitors, reports, and evaluates the Delta decisions and the preferential strategies and the actions addressed in its three Delta Plans. The DP is reviewed, revised, updated, and published every year. An evaluation of the five Delta Decisions and the preferential strategies has been published in 2020.

The Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management comprises all the DP studies, measures, and provisions, (to be) scheduled regarding flood risk management. The measures are funded from the Delta Fund, and, in some cases, from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management budget. Where appropriate, the Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management also features regional measures not subsidised by the central government.

The Delta Plan on Fresh Water Supply comprises all the scheduled measures, studies, and knowledge issues related to a sustainable freshwater supply, and that are funded – in whole or in part – from the Delta Fund.

The Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation contains the measures aimed at rendering the Netherlands climate proof and water resilient.

Both the NAS as the DP involve stakeholders in drafting and decision making, including the different involved ministries, provinces, municipalities, water authorities, ngo’s, industry and citizens. The approach is also to provide an overview of the adaptation needs for different sectors, which supports a broad support from the sectors as they understand why they are expected to contribute to adaptation.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management is politically responsible for water safety on a national level, determining standards for ‘primary’ flood defences, providing technical instruments, and regulating the functioning of the policy area as a whole. Most flood defences are administrated by regional water authorities, while some flood defences (e.g. storm surge barriers) are the responsibility of the national authority, Rijkswaterstaat (part of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). The administrator is responsible for its maintenance and reinforcement whenever necessary to meet standards.
The integration of climate change impacts and resilience into environmental assessment procedures is guaranteed via the National Strategy on Spatial Planning and the Environment (Nationale Omgevingsvisie - NOVI), in which the national government presents its long-term vision on the future development of the living environment in the Netherlands (both the built as the national environment). The NOVI comprises a new, integrated approach that brings together all levels of government and civil society, with greater control from the national government. When working on spatial development, climate adaptation and energy transition, sustainable (circular) economic growth potential, strong and healthy cities and regions and the futureproof development of rural areas, all affected interests have to be taken into consideration.
Risks caused by climate change are part of the Dutch National Security Strategy (NSS). The tri-annual cycle of the NSS enables continuous protection against the threats and risks. The NSS falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and Security. Regional disaster risk management is addressed by the 25 Dutch Safety Regions – collaborations of fire brigades, police, medical services, and sub-national governments. The Ministry of IenW participates in the overarching Steering Group National Security covering policies on vital critical infrastructure. The programme ‘Water and Evacuation’ started in 2015, to improve preparedness of the Safety Regions to the consequences of floods due to climate change, and links to other programmes, such as ‘National Vital and Vulnerable Critical Infrastructure’.
Climate-related disaster loss and risk data can be found in the Climate Impact Atlas and the Climate Damage Atlas. The first one provides an initial impression of (future) threats of flooding, waterlogging, drought, and heat at national, regional, and local level. The latter estimates the damage that will be caused by waterlogging, heat, and drought during the period 2018 to 2050. For each municipal resident, the tool provides an estimate of various types of damage, such as additional hospitalisations resulting from heat and damage to buildings because of waterlogging. In addition, the tool presents the residual risk with respect to primary water system flooding. The information is available free of charge and all data is public.
Climate risks that need to be addressed most urgently are (NAS): greater heat stress, more frequent failure of vital systems (energy, telecommunications, IT, and transport infrastructures), more frequent crop failures, shifting climate zones, greater health burden and loss of productivity and cumulative effects whereby a systems failure in one sector or at one location triggers further problems elsewhere. Based on the most urgent risks, the adaptation priorities are to create resilience against rising temperatures (warmer), increased precipitation (wetter), long periods of drought (dryer) and rising sea level.
As climate adaptation – except for water management – is a relatively new policy area, detailed information on the effectivity and costs of tools and measures is limited. This hampers the choice of the best measures and leads to delays or less effective adaptation. More knowledge is needed for – in particular – measures regarding drought and heat as well the effects of shift of climate zones.

Measures for new topics such as health, also face organisational and financial difficulties as they are not (yet) well embedded in structures and budgets. Much of the climate adaptation action, such as flood protection, is part of other policy areas like water management and new topics not automatically fit in existing policies. Limited capacity and budgets, combined with many high-priority topics, make it challenging to accommodate the necessary action. Although the need for integration in other policy areas (ie energy transition, housing, rural development) is rather undisputed, but is not proceeding fast as it requires more studies and a shift in policymaking.

Regarding disaster management, recent events show that the system functions well during the actual disasters, but the handling of damage afterwards takes too much time. This is currently also part of discussions in the financial sector.
The aim of the National Adaptation Strategy 2016 (NAS), the Delta Programme (DP), and the National Strategy on Spatial Planning and the Environment (NOVI), is to ensure a climate resilient country in 2050.

The NAS is the overarching Dutch strategy for climate adaptation and provides an overview of the adaptation needs for different sectors. It sets out the main climate risks for the Netherlands and charts the course for tackling them. The NAS is built on an effect analysis, a risk analysis, and an urgency analysis. Following a coordinated bottom-up process, key actors such as Rijkswaterstaat (transport infrastructure) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Safety are initiating actions in cooperation with project groups involved in drafting and carrying out the NAS.

Several action programs are put up under the NAS – partly based in the NAS implementation programme 2018-2019 – such as the Action Program Nature (2021), the Action Program Climate and Built Environment (2020), the Action Program Climate Adaptive Agriculture (2020), the Knowledge Agenda Climate Change and Health (2019), LIFE-IP NASCCELERATE (2022-2027), the Implementation Agenda Climate Resilient Networks (2021), and the National approach climate adaptive built environment (2022-2024). The Netherlands also invests extensively in research on climate adaptation, for example on the impact of drought on foundations and climate change adaptation and health. The Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management published in 2020 a financial incentive scheme (Impulsregeling klimaatadaptatie) in the purview of expediting the implementation of adaptation measures by local and regional governments for the period 2021-2027.

Since 1999, climate adaptation has been integral to flood resilience plans and projects in the Netherlands. The Dutch Delta Programme (DP) is built on the legal framework ‘the Delta Act on flood safety and freshwater supply'. This Act anchors the DP, as well as the Delta Fund and the role of the Delta Commissioner into legislation. The DP is structured around flood risk management (improving dykes, maintaining the coast through sand replenishment, and more room for rivers), freshwater supply (securing a sufficient supply) and spatial adaptation (redesigning the Netherlands to cope with nature’s extremes). There is a separate Delta decision on each of these topics, as well as on the IJsselmeer and the Maas-Rhine regions, embedded in the National Water Plan, the Water Act and administrative agreements with other governments. All relevant authorities have implemented the DP.

Under the Flood Protection Programme, the 21 district water boards in the Netherlands are collaborating with Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management), to ensure a minimum protection level by 2050 of 1 in 100,000 per annum for every resident of the Netherlands living behind a primary dyke or dam. Nearly 1300 kilometres of dykes and nearly 500 sluices and pumping stations will be improved. Rijkswaterstaat maintains the coastal protection by holding the current shoreline and supplements it with sand – if needed – until the shoreline is restored. The regional water authorities are essential for the implementation of water management and for the management and maintenance of dykes and coastal dunes. Provincial and local authorities are responsible for spatial planning, nature conservation and area development. Regional steering groups provide advice on decisions, strategies, and measures as well as on opportunities for using an integrated approach following the common Multi-Annual Programme for Infrastructure and Transport Projects.

The Delta Plan on Flood Risk Management also features a combination of dyke improvement and river widening to ensure sufficient capacity for the rivers Rhine and the Meuse to discharge river water to the sea. This is substantiated in the new Integrated River Management programme, under which integrated measures are being prepared that will be effective in situations with both high and low water levels. Another important project is the renovation of the IJsselmeer Closure Dam (Afsluitdijk) that started in 2018 to improve the dam and expand the IJsselmeer discharge capacity.

In 2021, decisions have been taken for the implementation of the second phase of the Delta Plan on Freshwater Supply. Measures are related to infrastructural modification of engineering structures, innovative projects, adaptations to the water system, use of alternative freshwater sources, and improvements in the information provision (monitoring and modelling). More than half of the foreseen investment is targeted to improve water retention in the regions with the elevated sandy soils in the eastern part of the Netherlands.

Based on the DP on Spatial Adaptation, national, regional and local risk dialogues have been held (or will be held soon) as a follow up to stress tests, addressing an area’s vulnerabilities to waterlogging, heat stress, drought, and flood risks. In the stress test there is a focus on vital and vulnerable functions. A guidance is available for performing the test, including standards for the change of impacts of climate change, and guidance for the interpretation of the results of the test. As a follow up to the stress test Risk Dialogues should be held with all stakeholders to evaluate the outcome of the risk analysis and to see which measures needs to be taken. Participants collectively determine which risks they deem acceptable and develop ambitions that may be specified in a climate adaptation strategy. This will result in implementation agendas for each region regarding what will be implemented, when and by whom. The agreements pertain to, e.g., specific measures, actions aimed at activating other stakeholders, embedding in policy and organisation, raising awareness, and further research.

A recent development is the new policy “water and soil as a steering principle” (Water en bodem sturend), aiming to ensure that – the capacity of – water and soil will be the basis for decision making in spatial planning. The focus should be on the long-term perspective while it is not allowed to shift problems to other generations, locations, or stakeholders. The first phase focusses on the built environment. The choice for (building) locations as well as the design of the location and the construction methods will amongst others depend on (future) water availability. This policy will be developed in the coming years.
The NAS incorporated the six main climate impact issues in its implementation programme: greater heat stress, more frequent failure of vital systems (energy, IT, infrastructures, etc.), more frequent crop failures or other problems in the agricultural sector, shifting climate zones, greater health burden and loss of productivity, and cumulative effects. To deal with these issues, integrated climate adaptation requirements in sectoral policies are necessary, keeping the relevant ministries responsible for their policy areas.

The responsibility for health lies with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports (VWS), supported by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). A National Heatwave Plan is in place, which is a communication plan aiming to bring simple precautions timely to the attention of risk groups and their immediate environment, in particular care providers and volunteers. A lot of research has been done on the different aspects of climate change and health. In 2019, the Knowledge Agenda Climate Change and Health was published. The current NWA programme “Climate adaptation and health” contributes to climate adaptation in relation to health and a healthy living environment for people, animals, and plants. It has an integral and interdisciplinary approach based on collaboration between the physical environment, social and health care domains. The programme comprises of two projects: CliMate AdaptatioN for HealThy Rural Areas (MANTRA) and BluE and greeN Infrastructure desiGned to beat the urbaN heat (BENIGN) (https://www.nwo.nl/[…]/climate-adaptation-and-health).

Climate adaptation in the built environment, focusses mainly on resilience against excessive rainfall and flooding and health (heat stress). In 2022, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) informed the Dutch Parliament about the first phase of the National Approach Climate Adaptive Built Environment (2022-2024). The National approach describes the national Government’s ambition and lists activities planned for the period 2022-2024 on new developments and the existing built environment, including collaboration with other governments and stakeholders. The work is divided into four lines of action: working towards a less voluntary approach, taking climate adaptation into consideration in other policy issues, continuous support of regional and local actions and preparation of the second phase (2025-2030) together with other authorities.

To enable the agriculture and horticulture sector to deal with climate change sustainably and effectively in 2030, the Action Programme for Climate Adaptation in Agriculture was set up in 2020 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) in collaboration with stakeholders. With a robust water and soil system and climate proof crops, cultivation systems and livestock farming, the agricultural sector is better able to cope with impacts, such as drought, salinization, excessive precipitation, and to utilize the opportunities of climate change. The programme draws attention to the consequences of climate change, provides an overview of initiatives and links with other (policy) programmes and organisations. In 2022, the Minister of LNV informed the Parliament about prolongation of the Programme until 2027. Emphasis will be placed, for example, on longer-term adaptation strategies and international exchange to learn from the experiences from other countries with climate adaptation in agriculture. LNV also participates in a project under the Dutch LIFE-IP programme on Climate Adaptation aimed at climate adaptation of agriculture and nature with a focus on a knowledge agenda, regional approach and cooperation with the financial institutions. (https://www.government.nl/[…]/climate-adaptation-in-agriculture)

The Task force Agricultural Water Management (DAW) is a collaboration between LTO, water boards, LNV and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), in which the participating farmers voluntarily take measures on their farm or participate in one of the 500 projects to gain more knowledge on water quality and quantity, and healthy soils. DAW provides for cooperation between the agricultural sector and the regional water authorities. A programme was set up in 2021 to disseminate knowledge that helps agricultural entrepreneurs to implement sustainable soil management and adapt to climate change.

The Minister of LNV also published the Action lines Climate Adaptation Nature (2021), together with IenW, provinces and Waterboards, based on an assessment on (policy) options to support a resilient nature. A healthy nature requires optimal adaptation to climate change, but healthy nature also helps adaptation to climate change. A lot has been done already to use nature as a solution to climate change impacts, via ie, water buffering, more space for overflows of rivers and cooling by trees and parks in urban areas. However, protection of nature against climate change needs more attention, especially the management of nature areas. With the Action lines, the Minister of LNV incorporates climate change in nature policy, works towards climate resilient nature and ecosystems, stimulates nature-based solutions, supports an area-oriented approach, and develops knowledge and monitoring tools.

Protection of vital and vulnerable functions, such as energy-, ICT- telecom, and transport-networks, drinking water, sewage, and nuclear facilities, against (future) climate impacts is based on the framework of the Delta Programme Spatial Adaptation. The national approach "Vital and Vulnerable" (Vitaal en Kwetsbaar) was published in 2021, focussing on the protection of vital and vulnerable functions against the consequences of flooding (https://www.deltaprogramma.nl/[…]/7448+AD-F+Digitaal+%28DV%29.pdf). Rijkswaterstaat, IenW’s executive body responsible for transport infrastructure and water management, developed the Implementation Agenda Climate Resilient Networks (2021), aimed to achieve climate resilient roads, waterways, and water systems. As part of the programme, research to investigate the vulnerability of the Highway network to climate change has been initiated. In the future, levels of acceptable risk will be established, taking into account required service levels and costs and benefits of possible measures for climate adaptation. A similar approach applies to the Railway Network.

The Delta Plan on Freshwater Supply comprises all the DP measures and studies relating to the availability of fresh water in the Netherlands. It also contains agreements on the financial contributions of the central and regional governments. Agreements on responsibilities, funding, distribution of costs, and the scheduling of measures have been set down in regional administrative agreements.
To explore climate adaptation issues under the National Adaptation Strategy in greater depth, authorities are holding a series of climate adaptation dialogues with all stakeholders. These discussion meetings offer an opportunity to clarify the challenges and brainstorm about possible solutions.

There will also be held dedicated meetings on the possibility of insuring against climate risks. This dialogue will build upon the many discussions that have already taken place, bringing all stakeholders together around the same table. Prospective participants include the four lead ministries (the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management as well as , the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of Finance), the Association of Provinces of The Netherlands (IPO), the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), the Dutch Water Authorities (UvW), industry federations, the Dutch Association of Insurers and DNB (the central bank of the Netherlands).

There are no specific programs for stakeholders that are particularly vulnerable, as the Dutch Government allowed involvement of all stakeholders. However, when prioritizing actions, the interest of the most vulnerable groups are paramount. In February 2023, The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) published the report “Justice in climate policy; on the distribution of climate costs”. The WRR analyzed the status of equality in Dutch climate policies and gave options to work on improved equality.

The National Knowledge and Innovation Programme Water and Climate (NKWK) started in 2015 and is a cooperation of governments, scientific organisations, and the private sector. The partners invest in pilots, operational projects, and long-term developments with the aim of adapting to climate change.
See under a. however, the Dutch Government is currently undertaking actions to engage the private sector more.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Not reported
National Monitoring

The Delta Programme (DP) plays an important role in monitoring of climate adaptation via the programme ‘Monitoring, Analysing, Acting’. This programme focuses on the questions whether the implementation of the DP is on schedule and within budget (output), is achieving the set goals (outcome), is addressing the tasks in an integrated manner, and takes place with participation of other parties (authorities, companies, NGO’s and citizens).

The Delta Plan Spatial Adaptation is monitored annually to enable adjustment of policy and implementation when new developments or barriers are identified. This monitoring is based on reports from Deltares and PBL.

The DP’s “Signal portal” supports monitoring by giving insights in the five most important themes related to the work of the DP: wetter, drier, hotter, sea level rise, and busier. For each theme, indicators on climate, hydrology, land use and water use are given, as well as possible effects of these developments on society.

The knowledge portal “Greenblue Networks” contains a database with results of research on the effectivity of climate adaptation measures, as well as examples of implemented measures.

The Association of insurers developed the “Climate monitor”, which shows the amount of damage caused by weather extremes in recent years.

The platform “Waarstaatjegemeente.nl” collects and presents figures for Dutch municipalities on important policy areas, such as sustainable environment. Although not explicitly meant for climate adaptation, useful information can be found (ie the number of trees and the surface area of paved gardens).

The Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) started the work on a structural monitoring and evaluation system for climate adaptation at national level. The first step is the assessment of the risks, impacts and vulnerabilities due to climate change (the last one stems from 2015). Work on this started in 2021 and covers 19 different policy areas and sectors. The analysis regarding current risks and impacts is expected to be finalized this year. The analysis of future risks, impacts and vulnerabilities will be based on the new KNMI climate scenario’s (end 2023) and will be finished end 2025. In parallel, PBL will work on an assessment on implementation and costs of measures (output) and the effects thereof (outcome and impact).

Based on the assessments, PBL will design the Monitoring & Evaluation system that will be an integrated part of the policy cycle on climate adaptation. The system will look at efficiency of the policies, improvement of future policies, and assessing the extent to which implemented adaptation policies and measures reduced climate risks, impacts and vulnerabilities. Stakeholders will be involved in setting up the system.

Local and regional Monitoring

In the region South-Netherlands, different governmental bodies are cooperating on a monitor to create more insight in the progress of climate adaptation programs. This monitor is also meant to provide a basis for evaluation and adjustment of the Implementation programme South-Netherlands.

The province of Utrecht intents to develop a monitoring system for climate adaptation, in cooperation with regions and knowledge institutes.

Several studies have been done on monitoring of climate adaptation. The project ‘Monitoring local resilience’, part of the “NKWK Climate resilient city programme” studied the use of different indicators to assess climate resilience of neighbourhoods. As part of the knowledge program “Kennis voor Klimaat” (2008-2014) a study has been done to assess options to monitor local or regional adaptation strategies
The Delta Programme uses the monitoring programme ‘Monitoring, Analysing, Acting’. This system focuses on four key questions:
- Is the implementation on schedule and within budget? (output)
- Are we on the right track? Are we gaining our goals? (outcome)
- Are we addressing the tasks in an integrated manner?
- Participation: are other parties (authorities, companies, NGO’s and citizens) participating on a wide scale, wherever necessary?

A Signal Group has been installed, to monitor developments that could be relevant to the steering course of the Delta Programme. This group has selected eight indicators to enable the timely and reliable identification of any needs for adjustment of the Preferential Strategies, which are open to annual adjustment.

As the Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) just started the work on a monitoring and evaluation system for climate adaptation, it is too early to answer this question in detail now. More information is available at the next reporting in 2025.
Climate adaptation expenditures are made for prevention (1st line of defence), reduction (2nd line) and repair of the damage (3rd line). As action and costs related to all 3 lines of defence are the responsibility of many parties (national, regional, local government, waterbodies, and the private sector), it is difficult to give a complete overview of all investments made. A complicating factor is also that expenditures for climate adaptation are not straightforward since many other not primarily adaptation driven policies and actions help adaptation. Therefore, the answer can at best be an in indication and most likely an underestimation.

Without climate adaptation actions and with increasing climate change, total costs of climate change in the Netherlands until 2050 will be between € 77.5 and € 173.6 billion (https://climatedamageatlas.com/) for damages due to drought (€ 38.5 - € 124 billion), urban flooding (€ 31.9 - 41.5 billion) and heat (€ 7.1 - 8.1 billion).

The total spending will probably be between 0,5 and 1% of GDP. The largest part of this is for water safety and fresh water supply, for which a relatively good overview exists. In 2021, more than €7.5 billion has been spent on water management, of which approximately 4.5 billion for climate adaptation measures. (https://www.onswater.nl/[…]/Staat+van+Ons+Water+over+2021.pdf). The past 10 years show similar numbers.

Climate related damage can be uninsured, privately insured or be eligible for statutory safety net regulation (Wts). The private sector deals with the costs of the first two. For the third option, compensation for damage is covered by the national government. In recent years insurance companies are more aware of the growing costs related to climate change and a (slowly) growing number of them offer additional coverage against local flooding in their private and commercial home and contents policies.
In the last decade the Netherlands faced some climate related events. The damage of the floods in the Province of Limburg in the summer of 2021 is estimated to be between €350 million and €400 million, of which €211 million is covered by private insurances (https://www.verzekeraars.nl[…]gehandeld-door-verzekeraars and https://open.overheid.nl/[…]/pdf). The flooding in 2016 in the southern provinces Noord-Brabant and Limburg resulted in an insured damage of €483 million. Not all damage was covered by insurance companies, so the actual damage is higher. In the summer of 2018, The Netherlands faced severe droughts. The total damage to the economy (farming, inland shipping and water management) is estimated to be between € 450 million and €2080 million.

Budget for implementation of measures from the DP is available via the Delta Fund, around € 1,5 billion per year in the period 2023-2026.

In 2021, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management published a financial incentive scheme (impulsregeling klimaatadaptatie) in the purview of expediting the implementation of adaptation measures by local and regional governments. The national government has €200 million available for adaptation measures, other governments contribute €400 million.
At the moment, we don’t have an overview of the spending per sector in the Netherlands.
We recently started a project, together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) regarding the evaluation and monitoring of the work on climate adaptation. At the moment we don’t have the requested information but will be able to give input at the next submission.
We recently started a project, together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) regarding the evaluation and monitoring of the work on climate adaptation. At the moment we don’t have the requested information but will be able to give input at the next submission.
We recently started a project, together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) regarding the evaluation and monitoring of the work on climate adaptation. At the moment we don’t have the requested information but will be able to give input at the next submission.
We recently started a project, together with the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) regarding the evaluation and monitoring of the work on climate adaptation. At the moment we don’t have the requested information but will be able to give input at the next submission.
The Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) started working on updating the assessment of risks and impacts of climate change. The update of the current risks and impact is expected to be available end 2023. The update of the future risks will be ready end 2025. The latter will be based on the new Dutch climate scenario’s that will be made available by the KNMI at the end of 2023.
An updated National Adaptation Strategy will be prepared in the coming years and published in 2026. The NAS has been evaluated in 2021 and 2022 and will be revised in the coming years. The Dutch Environmental Agency (PBL) started working on updating the assessment of risks and impacts of climate change. The update of the current risks and impact is expected to be available end 2023. The update of the future risks will be ready end 2025. The latter will be based on the new Dutch climate scenario’s that will be made available by the KNMI at the end of 2023. Both the evaluation and the update of impact and risks are essential sources for a new NAS. The new NAS will also include a comprehensive national monitoring scheme for climate adaptation. PBL recently started preparations for the drafting of this monitoring scheme.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Good examples are the Delta works, the coastal defence system to protect the Netherlands against threats coming from the sea, including sea level rise. Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of IenW) started building the Delta Works after the Great Flood of 1953. The project, with 3 locks, 6 dams and 5 storm surge barriers, was completed in 1997. Since 2018 the Haringvliet Barrier also functions as a storm surge barrier, making the number of storm surge barriers managed by Rijkswaterstaat a total of 6.
We’ve created a website with examples of climate adaptation measures (https://klimaatadaptatienederland.nl/en/examples/), which currently holds 269 examples. For all projects a description is included, as well as a discussion on results and lessons learned.
The floodings due to the extreme discharge events of 1993 and 1995 in the rivers Meuse and Rhine triggered large scale investment ('Room for the river') and implementation of water safety standards for both rivers. Water levels are lowered and room is created for rivers to overflow. At 30 locations, dykes are relocated, high-water channels constructed, and floodplains lowered (to be inundated in case of high-water levels, giving the river more room and easing the pressure on the dykes).

Cooperation and experience

Several projects have been initiated where climate adaptation is one of a series of objectives (such as social cohesion, economy, wellbeing, and biodiversity). Projects such as “green in cities” and “building with green” have a focus on nature-based solutions and a link with the UN decade of ecosystem restoration.

The work on climate adaptation in the Netherlands also contributes significantly to Sustainable Development Goal number 13 on Climate Action. With the National Adaptation Strategy, The Delta Program and the administrative agreement on climate adaptation work on climate adaptation, and hence SDG13, has been given a strong push. Adding to this are the policy on the North Sea, the National Water plan and the National Strategy on Spatial Planning and the Environment.

The work done in the Netherlands on Water safety is strongly connected with the objectives from the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dutch scientific institutions maintain a strong international network and there is a lot of cooperation with international partners.
There is a long history of cooperation between the countries of the river basins of the each of the four largest rivers flowing through the Netherlands: the Rhine, the Meuse, the Scheldt and the Ems. For each river basis there exists an international commission. Water quality, water quantity, flood protection and ecology are on the agenda of these Commission, giving international coordination between the member states to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Flood Directive. The International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) is one of the oldest international river commissions in the world. Member states are the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and the European Commission. The member states work closely together with Belgium, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy to safeguard a good development of the river Rhine and its tributaries. The Conference of Rhine Ministers takes decisions in matters of political importance and establishes the basis for coherent, co-ordinated programmes of measure. Wadden Sea In the trilateral Wadden Sea cooperation Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands work together to protect the Wadden Sea as an ecological unity. The Wadden Sea Conference takes decisions in matters of political importance and establishes the basis for coherent, co-ordinated programmes of measure.

There is a trilateral cooperation between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in the Benelux. Under the organisation of the General Secretariat of the Benelux a working group on climate adaptation meets on regular basis.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

The NAS is governed by a board of directors from all relevant ministries of the Dutch Government. They supervise a programme, cooperate in networks of national, regional, and local governments, NGOs, knowledge institutes and the private sector.
Based on the Delta Programme for Spatial Adaptation, 45 regions have been formed in the Netherlands, that coordinate climate adaptation. When governments in these regions finish their stress test – meant to gain insight into climate related vulnerabilities – the municipalities, district water boards, provinces, and Rijkswaterstaat will launch regional risk dialogues with all the relevant partners, aiming at raising awareness of an area’s vulnerability to climate extremes and discussing specific measures to reduce such vulnerability.

Another good practice is the network “Samen Klimaatbestendig”, a network by and for professionals on climate adaptation.
Adaptation strategies adopted at subnational levels

In 2009, the Dutch provinces signed an agreement with the national government to mainstream climate adaptation into spatial planning by 2015. Most provinces have now developed climate adaptation action programmes and published key vulnerability assessments as well as key policy or planning documents aimed at adaptation. Provinces are best equipped for linking the urban and rural areas in a coherent, regional approach. As it is impossible for provinces to do this on their own, there is an ongoing collaboration between the different provinces, as well between provinces and (inter)national and local authorities, ngo’s and water authorities.

Several municipalities started to develop adaptation policies and even released local adaptation strategies, for example, the cities of Rotterdam (the Rotterdam Climate Initiative) and Amsterdam (Amsterdam Rainproof). Many more examples exist, as summarised in the Spatial Adaptation portal.

The National Knowledge and Innovation Programme Water and Climate (NKWK) started in 2015 and is a cooperation of governments, scientific organisations, and the private sector. The partners invest in pilots, operational projects, and long-term developments with the aim of adapting to climate change.

The Delta Programme reflects the close cooperation between the national government, provinces, regional water authorities and municipalities. The Association of Provinces of The Netherlands (IPO), the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and the Dutch Water Authorities (UvW) published their Investment-Agenda on 10 March 2017. This agenda contains goals, concrete objectives, and actions on climate adaptation. A common priority is the mainstreaming of climate adaptation into water management, spatial planning, nature policy, agriculture, and economic policy.

Adaptation plans adopted at sub-national level

As aforementioned, most provinces had published key studies and assessments of the climate impacts and vulnerabilities affecting their respective regions. The NAS gave a new momentum to planning by provincial governments. About half of the municipalities have published plans on climate adaptation. In many cases, groups of municipalities with similar problems work on regional (sub-provincial) adaptation plans. As a follow up to the Delta Programme on Spatial Adaptation, provinces, Rijkswaterstaat, regional water authorities and municipalities have carried out an adaptation stress test and started risk dialogues to identify their priorities for adaptation. From 2018, municipalities, regional water authorities and provinces are committed to cooperate in 45 regions to implement the Delta Programme on Spatial Adaptation.

Regional water authorities perform flood risk assessments to evaluate the strength of their dykes every 12 year and report their findings to the House of Representatives of the Netherlands. If the strength is insufficient, the dyke will be improved by the regional water authority. The Flood Protection Programme (Hoogwaterbeschermingsprogramma) is a cooperation between all 21 water authorities and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The expected climate change over 100 years is included in the designing process of the new dyke.

In addition, there is a structure called the Dutch Safety Regions (25 in total). These are regional platforms organising cooperation of fire brigades, police, medical services, and subnational governments to respond to disasters and crises. The Safety Regions cooperate closely with the Ministry of Justice and Security.
To explore climate adaptation issues under the National Adaptation Strategy in greater depth, authorities are holding a series of climate adaptation dialogues with all stakeholders. These discussion meetings offer an opportunity to clarify the challenges and brainstorm about possible solutions.

There will also be held dedicated meetings on the possibility of insuring against climate risks. This dialogue will build upon the many discussions that have already taken place, bringing all stakeholders together around the same table. Prospective participants include the four lead ministries (the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management as well as , the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of Finance), the Association of Provinces of The Netherlands (IPO), the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG), the Dutch Water Authorities (UvW), industry federations, the Dutch Association of Insurers and DNB (the central bank of the Netherlands).

There are no specific programs for stakeholders that are particularly vulnerable, as the Dutch Government allowed involvement of all stakeholders. However, when prioritizing actions, the interest of the most vulnerable groups are paramount. In February 2023, The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) published the report “Justice in climate policy; on the distribution of climate costs”. The WRR analyzed the status of equality in Dutch climate policies and gave options to work on improved equality.

The National Knowledge and Innovation Programme Water and Climate (NKWK) started in 2015 and is a cooperation of governments, scientific organisations, and the private sector. The partners invest in pilots, operational projects, and long-term developments with the aim of adapting to climate change.
See under a. however, the Dutch Government is currently undertaking actions to engage the private sector more.
Climate adaptation expenditures are made for prevention (1st line of defence), reduction (2nd line) and repair of the damage (3rd line). As action and costs related to all 3 lines of defence are the responsibility of many parties (national, regional, local government, waterbodies, and the private sector), it is difficult to give a complete overview of all investments made. A complicating factor is also that expenditures for climate adaptation are not straightforward since many other not primarily adaptation driven policies and actions help adaptation. Therefore, the answer can at best be an in indication and most likely an underestimation.

The total spending will probably be between 0,5 and 1% of GDP. The largest part of this is for water safety and fresh water supply, for which a relatively good overview exists. In 2021, more than €7.5 billion has been spent on water management, of which approximately 4.5 billion for climate adaptation measures. (https://www.onswater.nl/[…]/Staat+van+Ons+Water+over+2021.pdf). The past 10 years show similar numbers.

Climate related damage can be uninsured, privately insured or be eligible for statutory safety net regulation (Wts). The private sector deals with the costs of the first two. For the third option, compensation for damage is covered by the national government. In recent years insurance companies are more aware of the growing costs related to climate change and a (slowly) growing number of them offer additional coverage against local flooding in their private and commercial home and contents policies.

In the last decade the Netherlands faced some climate related events. The damage of the floods in the Province of Limburg in the summer of 2021 is estimated to be around €1,8 billion, of which €180 million is covered by private insurances (https://www.verzekeraars.nl[…]gehandeld-door-verzekeraars). The flooding in 2016 in the southern provinces Noord-Brabant and Limburg resulted in an insured damage of €483 million. Not all damage was covered by insurance companies, so the actual damage is higher. In the summer of 2018, The Netherlands faced severe droughts. The total damage to the economy (farming, inland shipping and water management) is estimated to be between € 450 million and €2080 million.

Budget for implementation of measures from the DP is available via the Delta Fund, around € 1,5 billion per year in the period 2023-2026.

In 2021, the Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management published a financial incentive scheme (impulsregeling klimaatadaptatie) in the purview of expediting the implementation of adaptation measures by local and regional governments. The national government has €200 million available for adaptation measures, other governments contribute €400 million.

Without climate adaptation actions and with increasing climate change, total costs of climate change in the Netherlands until 2050 will be between € 77.5 and € 173.6 billion (https://climatedamageatlas.com/) for damages due to drought (€ 38.5 - € 124 billion), urban flooding (€ 31.9 - 41.5 billion) and heat (€ 7.1 - 8.1 billion).
In the context of the Delta programme a 7-step approach is designed which helps government at sub-national level to optimize decisions related to spatial adaptation.
(1) Mapping out vulnerabilities. All governments are required to conducted stress tests regarding the four climate themes: waterlogging, heat, drought, and flooding. Guidelines for standardised stress tests are available.
(2) Conducting risk dialogues and drawing up strategies. With the results of the stress tests, the municipalities, district water boards, provinces, and Rijkswaterstaat have to launch regional risk dialogues with all the relevant partners. These dialogues serve two purposes: raising awareness of an area’s vulnerability to climate extremes, and discussing specific measures to reduce such vulnerability. A Risk Dialogue Roadmap and other supporting tools are available.
(3) Drawing up implementation agendas. After the authorities have drawn up an adaptation strategy, they will set down an implementation and investment agenda for their region. Among other things, this agenda features agreements on who is going to do what.
(4) Capitalising on linkage opportunities. In many cases, “breaking up streets” for the sole purpose of spatial adaptation will be neither efficient nor effective. The decades ahead will also see other major spatial taskings (housing projects, repairs to buildings, the energy transition, circular economy). The Delta Plan aims to having all spatial developments capitalise on climate-proofing opportunities. Supporting tools are available.
(5) Promotion and facilitation. Spatial adaptation must become standard practice in cities, villages, and rural areas. To stimulate this, all stakeholders have to share their expertise, instruments, and experience wherever possible. This will obviate the need for everyone to re-invent the wheel, and will enable us to give impetus to spatial adaptation. Several instruments have been developed to achieve this goal.
(6) Regulating and embedding. The Delta Plan on Spatial Adaptation stipulates that by 2050, the whole of the Netherlands must be water-resilient and climate-proof. In order to achieve this, spatial adaptation must be embedded in the management, maintenance, and planning of the environment. The authorities and private parties are pursuing this through legislation, visions, plans, and standards. A website on regulating and embedding has been developed, as well as other tools.
(7) Responding to disasters. Water-resilient and climate-proof planning can curb but never entirely prevent the damage and problems caused by extreme weather situations. The authorities aim to be better prepared for calamities caused by waterlogging, heat, drought, and flooding. Special attention will be focused on emergency provisions and the rapid restoration of vital and vulnerable infrastructure. Several parties have developed tools to this end.

See: https://klimaatadaptatienederland.nl/en/tools/
There is a long history of cooperation between the countries of the river basins of the each of the four largest rivers flowing through the Netherlands: the Rhine, the Meuse, the Scheldt and the Ems. For each river basis there exists an international commission. Water quality, water quantity, flood protection and ecology are on the agenda of these Commission, giving international coordination between the member states to the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive and the Flood Directive. The International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR) is one of the oldest international river commissions in the world. Member states are the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and the European Commission. The member states work closely together with Belgium, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Italy to safeguard a good development of the river Rhine and its tributaries. The Conference of Rhine Ministers takes decisions in matters of political importance and establishes the basis for coherent, co-ordinated programmes of measure. Wadden Sea In the trilateral Wadden Sea cooperation Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands work together to protect the Wadden Sea as an ecological unity. The Wadden Sea Conference takes decisions in matters of political importance and establishes the basis for coherent, co-ordinated programmes of measure.

There is a trilateral cooperation between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg in the Benelux. Under the organisation of the General Secretariat of the Benelux a working group on climate adaptation meets on regular basis.

Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

Soil, Space and Climate Adaptation Directorate
National Government, responsible for national policies
Roald Wolters
NFP

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The source of information presented in these pages is the reporting of EU Member States under 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and the voluntary reporting of EEA Member Countries.'