2.2. Governance and participation

Key Messages

  • There are a range of factors that influence how countries organise MRE system, including pre-existing governance structures and how much experience a country has had both with climate change impacts and adaptation and with MRE.
  • Overall responsibility for adaptation MRE lies most of the time with environmental authorities at ministry or government agency level
  • Governance of MRE usually reflects institutional set-ups linked to adaptation policy or is organised more independently through dedicated organisations
  • European countries often have working groups or committees to involve multiple sectors and administrative levels in MRE
  • Engagement of stakeholders (including local governments and private sector actors) in MRE is essential for establishing effectiveness of adaptation policies and actions, but also presents challenges for national level MRE

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Introduction

A key question for the establishment and implementation of a national MRE system is how it is organised. There are a range of factors that influence how countries decide to organise their MRE system, which organisation leads this process and how other actors and stakeholders participate in the process. These factors include pre-existing governance structures; how adaptation to climate change has been organised so far; and how much experience a country has both with adaptation and with MRE. Reflecting on current experiences of European countries, this section examines the organisations responsible for MRE of adaptation and the ways in which stakeholder are engaged in the process.

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Organisations responsible for MRE of adaptation

A large number of organisations are involved both in adaptation and in its monitoring and evaluation in some way, the overall responsibility for the MRE system usually lies with a specific institutional structure or organisation.  The governance of adaptation is usually characterised and led by two types of organisations: ministries and committees. The Ministry of Environment (or the ministry within which ‘environment’ is a statutory responsibility) is most commonly the ministry responsible for climate adaptation. In other cases, dedicated committees have been formed, in which several national ministries are usually represented (e.g. Germany, Switzerland) alongside other levels of government (e.g. the Netherlands, Belgium) and/or scientists and other representatives from society.

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In most European countries the organisations responsible for leading the implementation of adaptation policies also have responsibility for leading MRE activities, i.e. ministries of environment, and dedicated committees. The existing organisation of the adaptation policy process seems an important driver for the organisation of the MRE process (‘path dependency’: when previous choices influence subsequent choices, because of the investments that were made in a certain structure).

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In addition, a few countries have set up organisations with a specific remit for MRE. In the UK the Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) was established (within the broader UK Committee on Climate Change) to provide advice on preparing for climate change and to report to parliament on progress made in preparing for climate change. In order to fulfil this statutory reporting and scrutiny role, the ASC has led the development of the UK MRE system for adaptation. The ASC is an independent body made up of experts from the fields of climate change, science and economics. In the Netherlands the responsibility at national level is shared between the public sector, private sector and civil society through the Delta Programme.

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Table 2.2: Organisations responsible for adaptation and MRE across European countries

Country

Ministry leading adaptation policy

Organisation implementing adaptation

Organisation leading MRE

Organisation(s) implementing MRE

Austria

Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW)

Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW)

Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (BMLFUW)

UBA-Vienna

Belgium

 

National Climate Commission NCC; Working group adaptation (CABAO)

National Climate Commission, Working group adaptation (CABAO

Belgian Interregional Environment Agency, Flemish Environment Agency

Finland

Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture,

National Monitoring Group of the National Adaptation Plan

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

National Monitoring Group of Adaptation

 

SYKE; FMI

France

Ministry of the Environment / General directorate for energy and climate, within it the national observatory on the effects of global warming (ONERC)

Minsitry in charge of sectoral policies (transport, agriculture, forest, biodiversity, water, health, mountain, fishery, tourism, natural disaster reduction, research, energy, education and sustainable developpement)

Sectoral agencies like Ademe (Environmental Agency), Cerema (transport and building), Météo-France (Climate services), INRA (agriculture and forest), INVS (health) ...

Ministry of the Environment / General Council for Environment and Sustainable Development (CGEDD)

National Council for Ecological Transition (CNTE)

National observatory on the effects of global warming (ONERC)

Germany

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)

Federal Inter-ministerial working group (IWG Adaptation Strategy)

Federal Inter-ministerial working group (IWG Adaptation Strategy)

 

 

Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Lithuania

Ministry of Environment

 

Ministry of Environment

 

Netherlands

Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Delta programme

Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL)

 

Delta programme (staff)

Norway

 

 

Ministry for Climate and Environment

Environment Agency

Slovakia

 

National Contact Point on Adaptation (MZP SR), Working Group on Adaptation

Ministry of Environment

Working group of adaptation

Spain

Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment

 

Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC) within the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment

Coordination Commission of Climate Change Policies (CCPCC),

Working group on Impacts and Adaptation (GTIA)

Switzerland

Federal Bureau for the Environment (BAFU), in the Ministry of Environment, Traffic, Energy and Communication (UVEK)

Project group of the Inter-departmental committee Climate (IDA Klima)

Federal Department of the Environment, Energy and Communications DETEC

Federal office for the environment (FOEN)

UK

England: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Scotland: Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform

England: The Domestic Adaptation Board, chaired by Defra

 

Wales: The Climate Change Commission

England: The Committee for Climate Change (CCC)

 

Scotland: Scottish Government

 

Wales: The Climate Change Commission

 

England and Scotland: Adaptation Sub Committee (ASC)


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In most cases, there is very limited separation between those organisations responsible for implementing adaptation policy and those responsible for MRE of adaptation. Notable exceptions are the Committee on Climate Change in the UK that reports directly to Parliament (see Box 2.1), and an evaluation committee that is planned in France that will also have a mandate to report independently (in France, the monitoring is not done independently, but the evaluation is). In Germany, the Environment Agency is responsible for monitoring and reporting but not adaptation implementation. Evaluation is planned in some countries by relying on an organisation external to the processes of policy design and delivery in order to avoid conflicts of interest and to maintain independence, transparency and, consequently, credibility. 

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Box 2.1: A formalised approach to MRE governance in the UK

Key messages

  • The UK adaptation policy cycle, including an MRE requirement, is embedded within a legal framework
  • The UK has established an independent MRE process by forming the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), which provides independent scrutiny of progress on mitigation and adaptation
  • While the NAP is the focus for MRE efforts, the NAP is assessed in the broader context of dynamic risks and changing vulnerabilities

The UK is one of the first countries to establish a legal framework for adapting to climate change. In addition to establishing legally-binding carbon budgets, the Climate Change Act 2008 also put in place requirements to prepare the country for climate change and adapt to its impacts.

The UK Climate Change Act sets the key phases of the adaptation policy cycle into legislation, including monitoring, reporting and evaluation. The Government is required to assess the risks and opportunities facing the UK from climate change, which takes the form of a 5-yearly Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) process. The objectives, policies and proposals to address those risks are then set out in the National Adaptation Programme (NAP), which is also revisited every 5 years. Supporting this cyclical process is a legal requirement to report on adaptation progress in relation to the NAP, as detailed below.

Figure 2.2 The UK adaptation policy cycle.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) was established as an independent, statutory body to advise the UK Government and report to Parliament on progress made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change. The Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) forms a key element of the CCC, in part by providing independent advice on preparing for climate change. The ASC also has responsibility under the Act to report to Parliament every two years with an independent assessment of the progress being made in the implementation of the NAP; the first of these reports was published in June 2015. The Government is required to provide Parliament with its response to the CCC’s progress reports by 15th October 2015.

While the need to report on adaptation progress is a statutory requirement, it is the role of the ASC to determine exactly how this should be achieved. The first statutory assessment report on adaptation follows the structure of the NAP and reports on progress across six main themes (the built environment, infrastructure, healthy and resilient communities, agriculture and forestry, the natural environment, and business), plus one cross-cutting theme (local government). It evaluates whether appropriate policies and plans are in place to address key climate risks; whether the adaptation actions in the NAP have been delivered and then considers whether progress is being made in managing vulnerability. A more detailed review of the methods employed can be found in section 2.3 of this report.

The “Reducing emissions and preparing for climate change: 2015 Progress Report to Parliament” can be found here: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/reducing-emissions-and-preparing-for-climate-change-2015-progress-report-to-parliament/

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Horizontal and vertical governance

When considering governance – how MRE for adaptation is governed and organised – two important perspectives are important abnd covered in this section. Firstly, how MRE is coordinated across government departments and sectors (horizontal governance) and, secondly, how it is coordinated across administrative levels in MRE (vertical governance).

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Horizontal governance of MRE

Adaptation is inherently a cross-sectoral issue, meaning that MRE for adaptation also requires a cross-sectoral approach. The importance of horizontal coordination of MRE is recognised in all European countries undertaking MRE for adaptation. Examples of close cooperation within a specific set of ministries can be found in Finland and Slovakia, while in other countries most ministries (e.g. Germany, Norway) or all ministries are involved (e.g. France). There were also examples where staff from various ministries took on specific roles within a dedicated MRE committee.

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MRE Experts who participated in the Expert Workshop identified the following sectoral themes as significant to adaptation policy and highlighted the need for engaging the relevant ministries in the MRE process:

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  • Agriculture and food
  • Biodiversity / nature
  • Business, trade, finance and industry
  • Education and science
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Fisheries
  • Foreign affairs
  • Forestry
  • Health
  • Interior affairs / civil protection
  • Land management / spatial planning / rural development
  • Transport and infrastructure
  • Water management, coastal
    management and river management

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Box 2.2: Inter-ministerial working group on adaptation connects sectors in implementation and evaluation of adaptation policy in Finland

Key messages

  • Working groups can provide flexible institutional structures for monitoring and evaluation of adaptation, while their temporary nature may present challenges for cumulative learning
  • Inclusion of monitoring and evaluation in the mandate of a working group tasked with coordination and implementation of adaptation policy more generally facilitates communication and use of MRE results in policymaking

In Finland, monitoring and evaluation of national adaptation policy is the responsibility of an inter-ministerial working group. The working group was first set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in 2008 to monitor and promote implementation of the National Adaptation Strategy (2005) and steer a national research programme on adaptation. Its original two-year term was extended in late 2010 until February 2012. During this time the working group carried out the mid-term evaluation of the NAS (published in 2009). In May 2012, the working group was re-set until end of 2013 with the mandate to conduct a full evaluation of the 2005 NAS and to revise national adaptation policy on the basis of the evaluation. In 2014 and early 2015, there was no formal working group in place and coordination between sectors and other stakeholders (including regional governments and broader stakeholder groups) was largely carried out through processes relating to the finalisation of the revised national adaptation policy (e.g. official consultations and public hearings that are part of all policy preparation processes). The National Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2022 was approved in November 2014 and consequently a new working group was set for 2015-2018. The purpose of the current working group (National Monitoring Group for Climate Change Adaptation) is to coordinate implementation of the new NAP in the public sector, with a specific mandate to monitor and report on the implementation of the NAP and promote evaluation of the effectiveness of adaptation measures.

The working group is chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with a vice-chair from the Ministry of Environment. Throughout the years, the working group has had a broad membership base with appointed representatives from most sector ministries but the exact composition has varied throughout the years. Additionally, key research institutes have been represented in the working group, along with research funding agencies, the Association of Finnish Municipalities, some larger cities and recently also Regional Centres for the Economy, Transport and the Environment. There is no detailed budget for the working group, but its expenses are covered by the state budget and the working time of its members is covered by their organisations. In its first meeting in June 2015, the current working group approved a work plan based on the new NAP that is to be revised annually. The group will meet quarterly. As for reporting, the group is currently working on setting up a monitoring system and  it will report on the progress of national adaptation policy implementation to the Parliament as part of climate policy reporting as required by the Climate Act (2014).

Involvement of local government in monitoring

When the working group was first set up in 2008, the Association of Finnish Municipalities was invited to represent the perspective of local and regional decision-making. Later it was observed that the sub-national levels were not sufficiently represented and some larger cities active on climate issues and adaptation were invited to formally join the working group in 2012-2013. One of the messages arising from the stakeholder consultations as part of the NAS evaluation process in 2012-2013 remained that there should be a stronger connection to local governments. In the current working group, sub-national governments are represented by the Association of Finnish Municipalities as well as a member from one of the Regional Centres for the Economy, Transport and the Environment who has a specific role as an intermediary towards the remaining regional government agencies. Specific efforts to better include the perspective of local governments have included special meetings of the working group dedicated to regional and local matters (more regional and local representatives have been invited to these meetings) and inclusion of local government perspectives in events and seminars organised by the monitoring group as part of its communication and awareness raising activities.

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Vertical governance of MRE

Although adaptation strategies and plans are often adopted at the national level, actual implementation involves the regional and local levels. Whether by the local nature of the adaptation action itself (e.g. land use planning and construction) or due to a delegation of responsibilities from the national to subnational levels of administration, exploring what happens at the regional and local levels is often of critical importance in tracking progress on adaptation. This highlights the need for vertical coordination in MRE for adaptation across different levels of governance in addition to horizontal coordination across sectors and fields of action. How do those responsible for MRE at national level seek to connect with and involve with other levels of government? 

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There is a lot of variety in terms of the governance structures employed in European countries that have begun developing MRE systems for adaptation. These different systems of governance have implications for the management and governance of MRE processes. From the European countries that participated in the Expert Workshop, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria are federal states. The UK and Spain are unitary states that include autonomous regions, or countries, that have significant devolved power. The other seven countries (Finland, France, Lithuania, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia) are unitary states, usually with a provincial government level and, in the case of the Netherlands, also water boards. 

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Existing governance structures shape the relationship between national and sub-national levels when it comes to adaptation policy and specifically for MRE. In Federal states (Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland) the subnational level is involved in the development of MRE from the start. In Spain and UK the roles and responsibilities for MRE are defined with the autonomous regions and countries, perhaps reflecting the more formalised relationship between central government and the devolved administrations. 

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Box 2.3: Spain - Governance of adaptation monitoring process

Key messages

  • Governance of the adaptation monitoring process is a component of the governance on adaptation to climate change: the scheme of the Spanish National Adaptation Plan (PNACC) is used for both.
  • A well-defined set of committees and platforms with tasks ranging from high-level steering to exchange of practical experiences enhances procedural clarity for all participants, a sense of a common enterprise in adaptation, and eventually also creates a positive attitude towards monitoring and evaluation.
  • Horizontal and vertical coordination for adaptation governance are both complemented with top-down and bottom-up approaches, for engaging the widest possible range of stakeholders. The networking results in strengthening the adaptation monitoring process.
  • Recent efforts in improving vertical coordination for governance (local-regional-central) has resulted in increasing information exchange and initiatives with positive impacts on monitoring.

The Spanish National Adaptation Plan (PNACC), adopted in July 2006, is the reference framework for the development of adaptation policies in Spain. It poses a scheme for its governance taking into account the coordination between all Public Administrations and the participation of all the stakeholders potentially involved in adaptation to climate change in Spain.

The continuous PNACC effort focus on participatory initiatives involve a wide range of Spanish stakeholders (public, private, social agents, professionals, academics...) that allow a bottom-up input into the adaptation cycle complementary to the top-down approach that, altogether and ultimately, feedback the monitoring and reporting process.

Since the adoption of the PNACC, several initiatives and activities have been implemented that contribute to monitor its progress, which revolve around three topics: (i) coordination and participatory bodies, (ii) monitoring reports and (iii) the AdapteCCa platform:

  • Coordination and participatory bodies: Several coordination and participatory bodies and initiatives are involved in the governance for the development of the PNACC. The "National Climate Council" (CNC), the "Coordination Commission of Climate Change Policies" (CCPCC) and its "Working Group on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation" (GTIA) are the most relevant meeting points for the administrative information and coordination, and for technical aspects. A wide range of participatory initiatives are increasingly adding stakeholders to the PNACC stream and networking, mainly by means of the "Program on PNACC Sectoral Workshops". These bodies and initiatives provide feedback and monitor the outcomes achieved within the PNACC periodically.
  • Monitoring reports: Monitoring and reporting on the progress in the implementation of the PNACC are carried out by periodical Monitoring Reports, mandated by the PNACC, well aligned to its structure of axes and pillars, and using the scheme for its governance. Up to date, three PNACC Monitoring Reports, 2006-08, 2008-11 and 2011-14, have been produced. The Monitoring Reports are drafted and adopted after several cycles of reviewing: the Spanish Climate Change Office (OECC) leads the process, in consultation with the GTIA, informed by CNC and finally adopted by the CCPCC, in a wide networked and consulted process.
  • The role of AdapteCCa: AdapteCCa is a platform launched in 2013 for the exchange of information and the enhancement of coordination -both vertical and horizontal- among administrations and key stakeholders on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in Spain. It is a powerful and flexible tool to reinforce the governance and, as such, it plays a role in promoting the monitoring process. 

At regional level, mostly nearly all the Spanish Autonomous Communities (Regional level) have already adopted their adaptation strategies, plans or initiatives. The lines of work in which the Autonomous Communities have developed their strategies and plans are coherent with the PNACC, and PNACC Monitoring Reports have included information of these regional frameworks. AdapteCCa also includes specific public information on the regional adaptation frameworks and initiatives, and allows private networking areas for the GTIA and other interest groups, which are used in the monitoring process.

Challenges

The Spanish PNACC includes a monitoring and reporting component that is embodied in the Monitoring Reports noted above. These reports synthesize and assess the progress in the development and implementation of the PNACC activities. However, so far it has not addressed the overall evaluation of the PNACC, understood it as the overall assessment of the impact achieved in adaptation public policies, PNACC, and its contribution to strengthening the resilience of the country to climate change.

This evaluation of the National Action Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change in Spain poses major challenges revolve around issues such as the long-term horizon, the difficulty in attributing results to concrete adaptation actions and measures, the metrics for adaptation, the uncertainties and the baseline, among others. Ways to face this evaluation challenge will include an inclusive process with a range of methodologies, from adaptation indicators to sectoral self-assessment and surveys, and a complementary approach of internal and external evaluation. 

Another aspects to improve the monitoring and reporting process is to deal with the heavy workload and limited resources for the big effort to compile, analyse and synthesise the information, and the long time-consuming process of consultation and coordination between a very large number of administrative units and stakeholders.

Regarding the links between administrative levels, and despite the increase in the quality and quantity of the regional information included in the consecutive PNACC Monitoring Reports, there is room to improve the consistency among central and regional levels in monitoring.

Links to additional information

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Engaging stakeholders

“Stakeholder support is needed to create and sustain winning coalitions and to ensure long-term viability of organisations, as well as policies, plans and programs; key stakeholders must be satisfied, at least minimally, or public policies, organisations, communities or even countries and civilizations will fail” (Bryson, 2004).

Engaging a broad range of stakeholders is crucial for the implementation of effective adaptation at all spatial scales. National level adaptation policies are often reliant on stakeholders at the design and implementation stages, therefore they can provide vital insights for MRE. Stakeholders can help to gather the necessary data and expertise; share the results of the monitoring with the relevant audiences; raise awareness; and encourage learning from good practice.

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When examining stakeholder participation within MRE processes, a broad definition of the term ‘stakeholder’ is used, referring to all parties who are affected by or affect adaptation policy. Beyond government stakeholders at national and subnational (including local) levels, the following groups of stakeholders are considered: private sector, interest groups (including NGOs and e.g. farmers’ associations), scientists and researchers, and the general public.

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Table 2.3: Involving non-public stakeholders and wider audiences in MRE of adaptation

Stakeholder categories

Examples of stakeholder groups and organisations

Private sector

Industry, trade associations
Insurance
Social-economic Council (representing industry at national level)
Finance
Data providers
Consultancy

Interest groups, NGO’s

Sector agencies:
  • Energy
  • Forestry
  • Agriculture
  • Hospitals

NGO’s: Environment

Scientists, researchers

Universities, scientific community, academics: knowledge base development

Education: secondary role/informal education

General public

Open fora of stakeholders

Public at large: opinion polls, phone survey, data crowding

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As the 2014 report on adaptation illustrates (EEA, 2014), the involvement of non-public actors is much more common in the planning and the implementation stages of adaptation, compared to the MRE stage. However, several countries are progressing on this, such as Germany, UK, Spain and Finland. Although countries agree that involving a broad range of stakeholders is important, it is also a challenge. Decisions need to be made about how, how many and who are the actors to be involved; taking into consideration, for example, cantons, sectors, businesses, house owners, and citizens in general.

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Box 2.4: Germany  – the importance of cooperation and collaboration in an inter-departmental strategy process

Key messages

  • A coordinating institution is needed to structure, coordinate and moderate the process of developing an overarching indicator system in order to make best use of the existing competencies and knowledge base.
  • Cooperation of appropriate  national authorities, supported by scientific and private institutions, is important for the scientific and political acceptability of the monitoring system
  • Collaborative processes are time-consuming but ensure commitment of the relevant national authorities and ministries in an interdepartmental strategy process

The German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) (2008) was designed as an inter-departmental strategy by the Federal Government, addressing fifteen action fields and cross-sectional themes. The DAS highlights the areas that are, or are likely to be, affected by climate change, and presents basic options and requirements for action in relevant sectors.

An initial progress report on the implementation and further development of the DAS is due at the end of 2015. Part of this progress report is an indicator-based Monitoring Report, which was published in May 2015. The latter describes all the consequences of climate change related to the sectors covered in the DAS, the measures implemented in attempts to overcome these impacts, as well as any past and current developments to inform decision makers and raise awareness in the general public.

The Indicator System underlying the Monitoring Report and the overall progress report was developed through an inter-departmental process with the participation of numerous experts from competent agencies at Federal and State level and scientific and private institutions. It was important to involve all government departments in this process because of the broad range of areas affected by climate change, need for adaptation measures in all affected sectors and to ensure that political agreement was reached.

Against this background, a consultant was commissioned to design and moderate the process of the indicator system development, by bringing together the competencies and existing knowledge from individual sectors and departments. The work started in 2009. Technical experts and political decision-makers from various governmental and non-governmental institutions were involved in this process in various ways including:

  • expert meetings and workshops;
  • expert meetings for profound  bilateral discussions;
  • involvement in the political bodies set up for DAS, i.e. the Federal Inter-ministerial Working Group on Adaptation Strategy (IMA) and the States Standing Committee for Adaptation to the Consequences of Climate Change (AFK).

In August 2012 an iterative process to build political commitment commenced and lasted for nearly two years. The DAS Indicators were agreed among government departments at the Federal and State level. In order to reach an agreement, it was important that:

  1. the most important themes and action areas were well-described and linked to the relevant DAS Action Field and Cross-sectional Theme;
  2. the thematic priorities were clearly defined; and
  3. the indicators were politically relevant.

The process of scientific participation and political commitment had a number of co-benefits. It raised awareness for the need of climate change adaptation, stimulated the engagement of important stakeholders and supported the identification with the Monitoring report and the National Adaptation Strategy itself. Overall, the feedback on the Monitoring Report was very positive and constructive. The extensive participation process was time-consuming; however the value of the results justified the approach. Furthermore, the participation of so many experts has contributed to the excellent reputation of the Monitoring Report at national and federal level, particularly with regards to its content and the methods used.

The revised version of the entire set of indicators was finally agreed and adopted by IMA in July 2014. The Monitoring Report, informed by the Indicator System, was finalised in its technically and politically agreed form in February 2015.

For further information: http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/publikationen/monitoringbericht-2015

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Table 2.4 presents an overview of involvement of different stakeholder groups in adaptation and in MRE of adaptation (including governments). Although the importance of involving many stakeholders is recognised in all countries, the actual engagement and participation of these stakeholders is a long term process. Countries have a gradually growing actor-network in which more and more stakeholders become involved; it often starts with involving ministries and then new stakeholders are added. The involvement in adaptation planning and implementation logically precedes the involvement in MRE.

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Table 2.4: Overview of stakeholder involvement in adaptation planning, implementation and MRE.

Country

Ministries

Other levels of government

Science

Private sector

NGO’s

General public

Austria

X

X

X

 

 

 

Belgium

X

X

X

 

 

 

France

X

X

X

X

X

X

Finland

X

X

X

 

 

 

Germany

X

X

X

X

X

 

Lithuania

X

X

 

 

 

 

Netherlands

X

X

X

X

X

 

Norway

X

X

 

 

 

 

Slovakia

X

X

X

X

X

 

Spain

X

X

X

 

 

 

Switzerland

X

X

 

 

 

 

UK

X

X

X

X

X

 

N.B. A cross indicates involvement in the overall adaptation process; a red cross indicates that it includes MRE.

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Box 2.5: Engagement of the trade, insurance and industry sectors in assessing climate change adaptation policy in Sweden

  • The dialogue events provided an excellent opportunity to representatives of the trade, insurance and industry sectors to gather and discuss climate change adaptation (CCA) issues, and encouraged the development of a business network focused on CCA
  • The insurance sector expressed a strong interest in being actively involved in expert groups and knowledge exchange events, and in supporting adaptation action at the municipality and home owner level

In early 2015 Sweden finalised the first assessment of their adaptation policy. The resulting publication "Basis for Checkpoint 2015 on climate change adaptation" in March 2015 followed largely, but not strictly, the structure of the EU’s adaptation preparedness scoreboard.

Close and extensive cooperation with national and regional authorities was one of the requirements of the assessment process. The research community and municipalities were also involved in the dialogue. Furthermore, while not included in the prerequisite for the assessment, the trade, insurance and industry sectors were also widely engaged. Their involvement was driven by the importance of getting a better understanding of what climate change impacts and related problems companies foresee in their fields, as well as the need to identify how the Swedish climate policy may assist and support companies to overcome these problems, and how the private sector can contribute to the development and implementation of climate adaptation policies. 

Four dialogue events were organised in September 2014. They involved approximately 60 participants from the private sector, who were invited in collaboration with relevant business organisations. 

The events were directed towards four groups that are affected by climate change in different ways:

  1. Companies whose production is affected by climate change in Sweden (e.g., agriculture, forestry, tourism, the building industry), organised together with The Federation of Swedish Farmers;
  2. Companies whose production chains are affected by climate change in other parts of the world (e.g., import/export companies), (organised together with the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises);
  3. Companies that have risk as their core business idea (e.g., mainly insurance companies), organised together with Insurance Sweden; and
  4. Companies that have climate change adaptation as their core business idea (e.g., innovation), organised together with Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth and the Association of Swedish Environment Technology Industries.

The dialogue events demonstrated that the business sector demands a clearer allocation of responsibilities, a stronger political drive behind the issue of climate change adaptation, as well as more resources for education and information dissemination. The events also emphasised the importance of taking advantage of the business community as a resource and its potential to make a difference in adaptation policy along with various public actors.

Moreover, the dialogue events revealed a certain degree of discrepancy between the level of awareness of the sector representatives about climate change and adaptation and the level of preparedness of the sector itself to climate change impacts. Even in cases where sector representatives demonstrated a high level of adaptation knowledge, there was not always evidence to suggest that the relevant sector was also well prepared to confront with climate change impacts. Increasing efforts, however, are being made to ensure that this objective is achieved for all sectors.

The insurance sector was one of the exceptions, acting also as one of the main drivers for climate adaptation initiatives in Sweden. Participants coming from this sector expressed a strong interest in being actively involved in expert groups and knowledge-exchange events, especially with the aim of ensuring adaptation action at the municipality and house owner levels. Furthermore, larger industries, mainly those involved in import /export activities were aware that impacts of climate change and adaptation should be considered in their risk assessment, in spite of the fact that they do not always use the term “climate change adaptation”.   

Overall, the dialogue events were appreciated as an excellent occasion for involving the private sector in the adaptation policy process and the formulation of suggestions in the “Checkpoint 2015” report. In addition, discussion among industry representatives underlined the establishment of a network to develop tools and services for climate change adaptation as a business sector as one of the most important outcomes.

Link: http://www.smhi.se/tema/nationellt-kunskapscentrum-for-klimatanpassning/nyheter-fran-kunskapscentrumet/underlag-till-kontrollstation-2015-for-anpassning-till-ett-forandrat-klimat-1.79820

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