WGEAs global audit on climate change, adaptation to Climate Change, are Governments prepared

This cooperative audit is based on eight individual national audit reports from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia and Ukraine, and a factfinding study by the European Court of Auditors. Generally the national audits revealed that the countries assessed in this report are in an early stage in adapting to climate change. So far, adaptation activities are related to identifying risk and vulnerabilities and to some extent policy development. Actions identified in the national audits covered in this report are mainly a response to current challenges and not initiated due to anticipated medium-term and long-term climate change impacts.

The national audits revealed that most countries have prepared risk and vulnerability assessments of sufficient quality. Up to the time of concluding the national audits, only two of the eight countries had developed a comprehensive adaptation strategy.

In most countries, weaknesses in coordination of adaptation are identified. There is also a general lack of cost estimates of impacts of climate change or adaptation measures in policy documents. This increases the risk that climate change and adaptation issues are not being sufficiently addressed in decision-making processes

It is recommended that

  • countries use adequate risk and vulnerability assessments for policy-making and consider the impacts of likely climate change scenarios with higher expected temperature increases than the 2-degrees scenario
  • adaptation strategies and action plans should be developed and implemented at the government level
  • the strategies should clearly specify the time-frame for implementation and the roles and responsibilities of all the parties involved
  • governments should ensure coordinated adaptation policy and its implementation
  • governments should provide knowledge, to the extent possible and meaningful, of the costs and benefits of climate change impacts and adaptation measures to ensure cost-effective implementation