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Guiding principles for adaptation to climate change in Europe ETC/ACC Technical Paper 2010/6

Recently published this Technical Paper “Guiding principles for adaptation to climate change in Europe” was launched by the European Topic Centre on Air and Climate Change (ETC/ACC) of the European Environment Agency (EEA).

The paper presents a set of guiding principles for good adaptation in Europe and therein identifies specific elements that support its successful implementation. It aims to support adaptation processes for a wide range of situations and actors (e.g. public authorities, businesses, NGOs) by offering a synthesis of key aspects to better structure the complexity inherent when dealing with adaptation to climate change. Thus, the guiding principles are intended to be a common basis for cooperative adaptation activities. Furthermore, the paper illustrates three practical examples that are meant to highlight how certain aspects presented in the guiding principles can be put into practice.


The guiding principles build on a comprehensive literature review, a comparison of national adaptation strategies and expert judgements.More than 250 adaptation experts from 35 European countries took part in a survey conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and e-fect. The experts came from local to European decision making levels, from governmental institutes, non-governmental organisations, business organisations, and research institutes, and covered 17 climate sensitive sectors such as civil protection, energy, forestry, health management, protection of biodiversity, tourism, and water management.

The document can be downloaded from