IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

National Adaptation Planning: Lessons from OECD Countries


  • Michael Mullan


  • Nicholas Kingsmill


  • Arnoldo Matus Kramer


  • Shardul Agrawala



Since the first OECD country published its national adaptation strategy in 2005, there has been a marked increase in national planning for climate change adaptation. This paper provides an overview of national adaptation planning activity across OECD countries and identifies some of the emerging lessons that have been learnt from their experiences. The analysis draws on three main sources of information: a survey of countries’ national communications to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); three country case studies (Mexico, England and the United States); and the results of a Policy Forum on Adaptation hosted by the OECD in 2012. It finds that twenty-six OECD countries have developed or are currently developing strategic frameworks for national adaptation and seventeen of those countries have also produced or are working on detailed national adaptation plans. Countries have made significant investments in building an increasingly sophisticated evidence base to support adaptation, and to build adaptive capacity. National governments have commonly established policies to mainstream adaptation into government operations and regulatory systems, and established co-ordination mechanisms to ensure action across government. Local and regional governments have also played significant roles in adaptation efforts, though less progress has been made in establishing systematic approaches to co-ordination between national and subnational governments. The development of strategies and plans has occurred recently, with implementation still at an early stage. Nonetheless, the case studies and OECD workshop revealed three key challenges faced by countries as they have started to implement their strategies and plans: overcoming climate information shortcomings and associated capacity constraints; securing adequate financing; and measuring the success of adaptation interventions. Action to address these constraints will be vital to ensuring that progress in planning translates into improvements in outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Mullan & Nicholas Kingsmill & Arnoldo Matus Kramer & Shardul Agrawala, 2013. "National Adaptation Planning: Lessons from OECD Countries," OECD Environment Working Papers 54, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:54-en

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. James Porter & Suraje Dessai & Emma Tompkins, 2014. "What do we know about UK household adaptation to climate change? A systematic review," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 127(2), pages 371-379, November.
    2. Li Jia & Mullan Michael & Helgeson Jennifer, 2014. "Improving the practice of economic analysis of climate change adaptation," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 5(3), pages 445-467, December.

    More about this item


    adaptation; climate change; national planning; risk management;

    JEL classification:

    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:54-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.