OCED Outlines Lessons from Adaptation Planning in OECD Countries

OECD18 April 2013: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released an Environment Working Paper, titled "National Adaptation Planning: Lessons from OECD Countries," which underscores the role that national governments play in establishing incentives, frameworks and enabling conditions for adaptation to climate change.

The paper provides an overview of planning activity of OECD countries, identifies emerging lessons learned from those experiences, and discusses changes in developed countries over the past decade, including the fact that over three quarters of OECD countries have now published or are currently developing a national adaptation strategy.

Key insights from the paper include that: OECD countries have demonstrated advances in evidence gathering and in providing tools to facilitate the use of increasingly sophisticated climate information; many OECD countries do not explicitly state how their adaptation programmes will be funded or the scale of resources required, which are crucial for determining success in moving from planning to implementation; and monitoring and evaluation, while still in its infancy in most OECD countries, will be essential for the success of adaptation planning.

The paper draws on information from: a survey of national communications submitted to the UNFCCC; case studies from Mexico, the UK and the US; and results of a Policy Forum on Adaptation hosted by the OECD in 2012. The study indicates that 26 OECD countries have developed or are currently developing strategic frameworks for national adaptation, and 17 have produced or are working on detailed plans.

It also discusses the establishment of: policies to mainstream adaptation into government programmes; and coordination mechanisms to ensure action across government. It notes that local and regional governments have also played significant roles in adaptation efforts, though less progress has been made in coordination among national and subnational governments. Key challenges faced as countries begin to implement their strategies and plans include: overcoming climate information shortcomings and associated capacity constraints; securing adequate financing; and measuring the success of adaptation interventions. [Publication: National Adaptation Planning: Lessons from OECD Countries]