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EU funding of adaptation

The EU finances adaptation to climate change in Europe through a wide range of instruments. aligned with the Europe 2020 Strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 will ensure that at least 20% of the European budget is climate-related expenditure. Therefore, Climate adaptation actions has to be integrated into all the major EU spending programmes, and a tracking system will be put in place to guarantee these objectives are met.

Within the 20% threshold, the European Structural and Investment funds as well as Horizon 2020 and the LIFE programme will provide significant support to Member States, regions and cities to invest in programmes and projects on adaptation, especially in the framework of the dedicated Investment Priorities on adaptation in the ERDF and Cohesion Fund.

In addition to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, certain schemes of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) under the Common Agriculture Policy are important resources when implementing an adaptation strategy for agriculture. More information can be found here.

Other EU funds and international financing institutions, such as the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, also support adaptation measures. Other options exist to finance climate change adaptation, including national programmes and financial institutions, using EU ETS auction revenues for financing adaptation, private initiatives, innovative funding initiatives, etc.  

Comprehensive information about funding opportunities for climate change adaptation for urban areas can be found on the Cities website supporting the Urban agenda for the EU initiative. 

Examples of the use of various funding streams by cities can be found in the EEA report Financing urban adaptation to climate change (2017).


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