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Preparing the ground for adaptation Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change Identifying adaptation options Assessing adaptation options Implementation Monitoring and evaluation

Assessing risks and vulnerabilities to climate change

2.9 How to set concrete targets for adaptation?

When deciding the strategic direction for adaptation in a city, it is essential to define what ‘success' means. Success is likely to reflect the objectives but may incorporate wider concepts such as equality, efficiency and effectiveness. Defining success and set targets may reduce the chances of maladaptation and serve a better integration of mitigation and adaptation. It will also be key to monitoring and evaluation.


Targets should be linked to specific objectives defined in Q2.8. The targets should be measurable and precise, also because the subsequent monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the adaptation strategy and/or plan is directly linked to the targets.

Targets may range from numerical (e.g. % households covered by insurance, land area of new green spaces in the city or EUR invested in certain defence) or process based (e.g. to roll out a heat risk awareness programme or to have assessed risks to a certain group of vulnerable people).

It is important to acknowledge that in the case of adaptation the targets may be more process-based than, for example, in mitigation. Nevertheless, it is important that the targets are set realistically. Too low targets might not bring enough adaption and too high targets might lead to failure of achievement.

Similarly as with objective, the target should be agreed politically and with stakeholders (see Q1.6) with the aim to ensure their long-term consistency.

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