Country profiles





The sources used to compile the health and adaptation information for country profiles vary across countries. For EU Member States, information is based on their official adaptation reporting: 2021 adaptation reporting under the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action (see EU Adaptation ReportingClimate-ADAPT Country Profiles) and 2019 adaptation reporting under the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism Regulation. These two reporting mechanisms are together referred to here as “EU official reporting on adaptation”. Note: The relevant information has been copied from the EU official reporting on adaptation (submitted until July 21, 2021), without further elaborating the contents of the text. Some information, valid at the time of reporting, may no longer be valid today. Any necessary additions to the text are clearly highlighted. 

In addition, information collated in the EEA’s analysis of Climate change and health: the national policy review in Europe (2021), the Adaptation preparedness scoreboard country fiches (2018) and the WHO study on Public health and climate change adaptation policies in the European Union (2018) are presented. Note: Some information, valid at the time of publication, may no longer be valid today. Any necessary additions to the text are clearly highlighted.

Information sources for non-EU member countries of the EEA are more limited. 

Information from EEA report. Climate change and health: the national policy overview in Europe (2022)

National policies on climate change adaptation and national health strategies were analysed to identify the coverage of climate-related impacts on health (physical, mental, and social) and the types of interventions addressing them. The report provides a European overview, while the geographical coverage of various aspects of national policies across Europe can be visualized using the map viewer. The results for Croatia are summarised here.

Policy documents reviewed:

Draft Climate Change Adaptation Strategy in the Republic of Croatia for the period to 2040 with a view to 2070 (2017)  

National Health Care strategy (2012-2020) 

Aspects covered in the reviewed policy document:

Information from EU official reporting on adaptation. GovReg reporting (2021), MMR reporting (2019)

The National Adaptation Strategy (NAS, 2020 [editors]) and the draft National Adaptation Plan (NAP, 2017 [editors]) focus on eight key sectors and two cross-sectoral thematic areas (including health), which have been identified as the most vulnerable to climate impacts. The NAP identifies 37 adaptation measures including health measures.

There is data available on climate-related health impacts and infrastructural damage costs, all with varying degrees of detail. Data on heatwaves and their impacts have been systematically monitored since 1983 by the Public Health Institute (ZZJZ), but only for the Zagreb City area. Data on floods are available from Croatian Waters for the early 20th century onward for the entire country, and data on forest fires is available from 1981 onward (State Directorate for Protection and Rescue - DUZS).

Croatia developed a national climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment as part of the NAS development process in May 2017, using the climate projections until 2040 and 2070. Health was one of the sectors selected for vulnerability analysis for which the climate impacts were described in the framework of the NAS drafting process as it is highly vulnerable and has low adaptive capacity. A risk and vulnerability assessment was also conducted for the human health sector for heatwaves. Taking into account climate change projections, it is very likely that key hazards will affect the health sector, which is elaborated in the NAS.

The Protocol on Procedure and Recommendations for Protection from Heat was adopted in July 2017 with the goal to reduce risk to individuals and institutions during heat waves by implementing necessary preparedness and response procedures at the national and local levels. A heatwave alert system has been established for the entire territory of the Republic of Croatia and is active in the period from May to October. During that period, DHMZ constantly monitors the temperature and, in the case of a 70% chance that the temperature will exceed the threshold (about 35°C, depending on the region), informs the Ministry of Health and the Croatian Institute for Public Health (HZJZ) on the occurrence of a heatwave, which then forwards the alert.

Information from WHO publication. Public health and climate change adaptation policies in the European Union (2018)

Croatia has developed a national climate change vulnerability, impact and adaptation assessment.

The national climate change focal point at the Ministry of Health is responsible for communication, dissemination of information, representation at meetings, responding to various requests, collaboration with other stakeholder groups, monitoring, promoting and/or facilitating climate change policy implementation at the national level.

The Ministry of Health of Croatia approved a protocol on procedures and recommendations for protection from heat in 2012. A heat-health action plan is also currently under development. The EU supported development of a Croatian climate change adaptation strategy for the period to 2040, with an outlook to 2070 and an action plan for 2019–2023, as well as a strategy to reduce CO2 emissions, with a time frame to 2030 and an outlook to 2050. Health aspects are included in both strategies; they are awaiting approval by the government.

The establishment of an integrated information technology (IT) system is under way with several databases, accompanied by meteorological parameters (temperature, humidity, pressure) and air contaminants.

Heat-health recommendations have been established for the general population and specifically for vulnerable population groups – including, for example, elderly people, children, people working outdoors and athletes.

WHO case studies from publication. Public health and climate change adaptation policies in the European Union (2018)

A heat-health action plan

In 2012, the Croatian Ministry of Health launched a protocol on procedures and recommendations for heat protection and established a multisectoral Working Group on Heat. The protocol remains in place, and the government is in the process of approving a heat-health action plan been prepared by the Working Group on Heat. The core elements and structure of the action plan are designed in line with WHO heat-health action plan guidance.

Resources in the Observatory catalogue on Croatia