Takeaways from the REGILIENCE training session on multi-level governance on adaptation



Capacity building
Climate planning, adaptation and resilience
Energy governance


In a report released today, the European Environment Agency lists 36 major climate risks for Europe, for which we need to prepare. Extreme heat, drought, wildfires, and flooding, as experienced in recent years, will worsen in Europe even under optimistic global warming scenarios and affect living conditions throughout the continent. The EEA has published the first ever European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA) to help identify policy priorities for climate change adaptation and for climate-sensitive sectors.

According to the assessment, Europe’s policies and adaptation actions are not keeping pace with the rapidly growing risks. In many cases, incremental adaptation will not be sufficient and, as many measures to improve climate resilience require a long time, urgent action may be needed even on risks that are not yet critical.

How best then to start the training session than to welcome Angelika Tamasova from the European Environment Agency, presenting the status of national adaptation actions. How do countries organise themselves on adaptation and resilience governance?

  • Technical reports on climate adaptation and resilience are published online, including EUCRA (European Climate Risk Assessment) to help identify policy priorities for climate change adaptation and for climate-sensitive sectors.
  • EU funding schemes for cooperation and research are strong enablers of transnational adaptation efforts.
  • Although there are still governance-related challenges which are a common barrier for adaptation actions in many growing countries, quite some countries have shown improved collaboration and cooperation across different departments. The examples presented include high level national coordination bodies, soft collaboration-based forms of vertical and horizontal governance, specific ministries created, and more!
  • For instance, we can quote the Office of Climate Service and Adaptation in Iceland. As an example for multi-level governance (MLG) efforts, the Estonian Ministry responsible for adaptation is promoting agenda setting at local levels by cooperating with the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities through various cooperation and exchange formats.
  • Voluntary and bottom-up initiatives are increasing, leading to subnational adaptation policymaking progressing in all countries.
  • Multi-level networks and mechanism are reported to be crucial to advance local adaptation, supporting sub-national governments and stakeholders through capacity building activities, information provision, etc.

Next speaker is my colleague at IEECP, Giulia Viero, who co-authored a report sharing lessons learnt and insights for the funding of climate resilience, and presents key findings.  How do national and regional adaptation plans cover European climate resilience funding?

In the report, among the 15 Member States that have reported their climate adaptation funding and its measurement, 5 cases of promising practices are identified, presenting an opportunity to strengthen policy coherence within Member States. The cases cover thematic areas and basic elements, e.g. nature-based solutions, measures to reduce climate-related risks, etc. They show good potential, e.g. to gather better data and climate-related risks or providing international exchanges on adaptation, yet they have not been in place for long enough to allow for a meaningful assessment ( <2 years).

You can also read the opinion written by Giulia Viero and Indriany Lionggo: ”the alignment of National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRP) with the National Adaptation Strategies and Plans (NAS/NAP) among the Member States”, including the report summary-infographics.

Following Giulia, Jan Cools, from UA elaborates on the governance framework tool and experience from its implementation in the TransformAr regions. TransformAr is a sister project of REGILIENCE.

He first comes back to the adaptation policies at various levels, differentiating them by the facts that the requirements are voluntary (EU Adaptation Strategy (2021), Mayors Adapt Initiative (2014, SECAPs), EU Mission Adaptation to Climate Change) or legally binding (National Adaptation Strategies – GovReg – Energy Union, and Sectoral Adaptation Plans – Governance Regulation (2018, NECPR),  the EU Climate Law and the EU Taxonomy on Sustainable Finance and Climate Delegated Act.

TransformAr governance framework tools and report provide an overview of adaptation policy, funding schemes, potential governance arrangements and good governance practices, openly accessible. You can access the process of developing transformational adaptation pathways in the 6 demonstrators of TransformAr in Finland, Greece, Spain, French Overseas territory, Italy, and the UK. 

He concludes by providing an assessment of the adaptation progress in Europe, where all Member States now have climate risk assessments, national adaptation strategies and or plans, as well as governance structures and mechanisms, BUT…

  • The sectoral climate risk assessments and sectoral adaptation plans are limited,
  • Governance is rarely linked to a body with strong political authority across sectors,
  • There are still significant gaps in the investment needs, and a lack of dedicated budgets for adaptation,
  • Nature-based solutions are included to a limited extent,
  • Progress remains unclear on the adaptative capacity,
  • And finally, the impacts of adaptation measures are not widely measured and remain conceptually and practically challenging.

Coming next are the local examples of multi-level governance work from Sweden and Croatia. 

Isabella Katsimenis(ENERGIKONTORNORR) focused on Swedish governance stakeholder groups in practice, introducing the NEVER MORE project which aims at developing integrated models and instruments for simulating and assessing the impacts and risks of climate change and to realise new interactive digital tools for citizens and policy-makers to learn about future scenarios and make mitigation and adaptation policies more effective. The case study of Swedish governance shows how to engage local actors by creating groups where the local councils are able to brainstorm, co-create, and share experiences, providing them with a place and/or a platform. 

Finally, Tomislav Novosel (REGEA) highlights the governance dialogues for climate and energy policies in Croatia, through the NECPlatform project presentation. How and why have the Climate and Energy Dialogues (CED) started? How is it going on In Croatia?

Tomislav reminded that all MSs are obliged to implement CED by Article 11 of the Governance Regulation. The NECPlatform project supports 6 EU MS in implementing them to ensure quality communication at horizontal and vertical levels, across sectors and governance levels.

Tomislav highlights 4 key steps to make impactful and quality CEDs:

1 and 2- Creating a sense of ownership with a strong support of the Ministry (here Economy and Sustainable Development in Croatia) + cooperation with the authors of the NECP (here Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar).

3- Then, focus on meaningful and relevant topics, open communication and flexibility in the organisation and implementation of the CED. Key message: we are here to support you.

4- Last is a continuous communication and cooperation with other key stakeholders within the process.

Where will the CED be in the future?

Sustainability of the CEDs is assured by the transformation into a self-sustained platform for climate and energy policies, with a continued implementation beyond the NECP development. They will need to exploit synergies with the Platform for Sustainable Finance at the Croatian Ministry of Finance, and implement sector-specific meetings, workshops and conferences co-hosted with key stakeholders, to promote discussion around sustainable development.

Available on the project website, best practices of multilevel governance across the globe. Understanding how multilevel governance is articulated in different national and regional contexts is important to feed the Climate & Energy Dialogue Platforms of the NECPlatform project. To this end, we have assembled a collection of practices (to be built on throughout the project), that can inspire and help develop the Climate and Energy Dialogues in NECPlatform countries and beyond.

The 2 case studies have proven us that communication and dialogues are not only building trust among stakeholders but also an effective approach to enhance collaboration and engage all in an informed decision-making. This will automatically create support for initiatives and an opportunity to find creative solutions that are inclusive. Another tip to keep stakeholders involved is to ensure official communication / invitations come from the national level (ministries) or are endorsed by them.

Meet the speakers:


REGILIENCE aims to foster the adoption and wide dissemination of regional climate resilience pathways, following a demand-driven approach and bearing in mind the expertise and knowledge acquired, as well as the solutions available from Innovation Packages and other sources. The project aims to support the Green Deal targets and communication by implementing Innovation Packages that will address key community systems and comprises the adaptation solutions and pathways deemed essential for climate and social resilience in the specific regional contexts and the set timeline.

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101036560.

About NECPlatform

The NECPlatform project will support six EU Member States (Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Italy, Portugal, and Romania) in setting up and managing permanent multi-level Climate and Energy Dialogue (CED) Platforms, as mandated by Article 11. These dialogues will help foster vertical and horizontal integration of energy and climate policies.

Such platforms will have the form of a roundtable and will meet 6 times each during the implementation of the project. Each platform will bring together representatives from national, sub-national authorities and other relevant stakeholders, such as representatives from civil society, academia, industry, financial sector, NGOs, etc.  Their purpose is to manage, in a collaborative process, the design, implementation and monitoring of climate and energy policies to be make them coherent across levels of governance (e.g. European, national and local) and areas of competence.  These platforms are also meant to ensure national policies are consistent with participants’ capacities and needs to engage in an ambitious and fair ecological transition with common objectives.

The outmost objective is for these platforms to become a privileged fora to discuss and deliver draft (2023) and final updated NECPs (2024).

The project has received funding from the European Union’s LIFE programme under grant agreement No 101076359.


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