Climate Action

Commission joins forces with European cities to promote urban adaptation to climate change

tungsten shot of a palm trees blowing in a storm © Stockbyte/George Doyle

The European Commission today launched Mayors Adapt, a new initiative it has set up to inspire cities to take action to adapt to climate change.

Cities signing up to the initiative commit to the overall aim of the EU Adaptation Strategy, to develop local adaptation strategies within the first two years of signing and to review the outcomes on a biannual basis.

At the launch, Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Jos Delbeke, Director-General for Climate Action, underlined the need for early action on climate change adaptation and highlighted the important role of cities. They were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Naples, Tommaso Sodano, Joost Venken, Deputy Mayor of the Belgian city of Hasselt, and Neil Swannick, member of Manchester City Council and of the Committee of the Regions.


As major centres of population and infrastructure, cities are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change. They therefore play a key role in implementing the measures to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

By joining the Mayors Adapt initiative, participating local authorities will benefit from support for local activities to tackle climate change, a platform for cooperation, and greater public awareness about adaptation and the measures that need to be taken.

The initiative will provide several services:

  • A Help Desk to give personalised support to interested and participating cities;
  • Information on networking events aiming to promote best practice sharing and peer-to-peer learning and workshops to discuss proposed local initiatives;
  • Guidance and materials including factsheets, information on initiatives and more.

Mayors Adapt is being implemented on behalf of the European Commission by a consortium led by Ecofys, comprised of Climate Alliance, Fresh Thoughts and IFOK GmbH.