Executive Summary (draft)

This report provides new insights into adaptation Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation (MRE) systems at national level in Europe and constitutes the first attempt to consolidate the emerging information across European countries. It aims to offer up-to-date, reliable and targeted information to support the effective and efficient implementation of national adaptation policies and measures addressing climate change.

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The intended users are policymakers and decision makers coordinating, developing, implementing, monitoring or evaluating adaptation across or within particular sectors. It is also of relevance to practitioners such as public authorities and businesses, including utility providers for various sectors such as water, energy, and transport.

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The expert workshop on ‘Monitoring, reporting and evaluation of climate change adaptation at national level’ (held by the European Environment Agency on 24-25 March 2015) was a key source of information from which the findings in this report were elaborated. Experts from the 13 European countries that have adaptation MRE system in place, or are currently developing an adaptation MRE system at national level were invited to the workshop. This report has also benefited from the excellent cooperation with and contribution from EEA’s member countries, particularly in connection with country examples.

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Collecting and analysing information on adaptation policy processes in European countries is essential in order to evaluate the extent to which actions are effective, efficient and equitable. It allows us to understand and determine which adaptation actions work, in what contexts, and why, and to share lessons learned across countries. However, measuring progress in adaptation is challenging for several reasons: adaptation is context specific and cross cutting all sectors of the economy, is characterised by long time frames and uncertainty, and does not have agreed targets.

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This report supports the process of describing how MRE activities can inform policy making, by sharing experiences and learning across countries, and by advancing knowledge for monitoring and evaluating progress, effectiveness and efficiency of ongoing and planned national and EU actions. It builds upon the two previous EEA reports on climate change adaptation at European and national levels published in 2013 and 2014, which specifically identified MRE as an emerging priority area of work for most countries planning and implementing adaptation policies[1]. The present report is also a key element in the implementation of EEA’s multi-annual work programme (2014-2018)[2] and its road map for adaptation (EEA, 2013). In this context, it constitutes the first of a series of three EEA assessment reports, with two upcoming reports in 2016 addressing climate change impacts and vulnerability and adaptation practices at urban level across Europe.

[1] See 2014 EEA report ‘National adaptation policy processes in European countries — 2014’ (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/national-adaptation-policy-processes) and 2013 EEA report ‘Adaptation in Europe - Addressing risks and opportunities from climate change in the context of socio-economic developments’ (http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/adaptation-in-europe).

[2] http://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/multiannual-work-programme-2014-2018

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In 2013, the European Commission adopted the communication 'An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change' (EC, 2013a) (also commonly known as the EU Adaptation Strategy), which includes several elements to support Member States in adaptation[1]. In addition, the EU has agreed that at least 20 % of its budget for the 2014–2020 period should be spent on climate change related actions, including mitigation and adaptation (and 35 % of its Horizon 2020 programme funding for research and innovation).

[1] i.e.: providing guidance and funding, promoting knowledge generation and information sharing, and enhancing resilience of key vulnerable sectors through mainstreaming.

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The EU Adaptation Strategy also proposes monitoring and evaluating the status and progress of adaptation in the EU, based on the following: (a) member countries' reporting (e.g. the EU Monitoring Mechanism Regulation 2015 exercise, and the 6th national communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)); (b) an adaptation preparedness scoreboard including indicators for measuring member countries' level of readiness; and (c) other sources of information, such as this report or other country surveys. In 2017, the European Commission will report to the European Parliament and the Council on the state of implementation of the EU Adaptation Strategy, and propose its review, if needed.

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The EEA intends that the information collected and presented in this report can provide valuable, timely and relevant material to support forthcoming exercises. Specifically, the experiences and lessons learned shared in this report may support Member States with the development of their 7th National Communications under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) due in 2018 or the next reporting on national adaptation policies under the EU MMR due in 2018. It may also support the European Commission with the review of the EU Adaptation Strategy and the development of the adaptation preparedness scoreboard in 2017.

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Key messages (Overall)

  • Adaptation MRE at national level is increasingly being addressed by European countries. So far, 13 countries have an adaptation MRE system in place or are currently developing one.
  • Across European countries progress on adaptation varies considerably (see Table 1) and the same is true for adaptation MRE, making it challenging to provide consistent and consolidated information across all European countries.
  • Despite these differences, the experiences of countries having an adaptation MRE system in place or currently developing one have the potential to bring about an essential information base to learn from and to support countries which are planning to develop MRE systems in the future.

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Key message (Thematic)

-        Drivers and purposes


-        Governance and participation


-        Methods


-        Application of results

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Here a short paragraph reflecting the main messages of the Looking Ahead chapter

Table 1 – Insights into adaptation MRE at national level

Country Aims/purpose Governance/status Methods used Aggregation based on Stakeholder involvement MRE system first operational in (insert date)

Objectives of the MRE system (e.g. to evaluate the NAP and/or provide an overview of progress

Responsibilities/status and fit with policy

Indicators system based on…


How is the MRE structured (e.g. NAP sectors Who has been involved and how?

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