Financing Adaptation


The EU finances adaptation to climate change in Europe through a wide range of instruments, aligned with the Europe 2020[1] Strategy towards smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The Multiannual Financial Framework[2] 2014-2020 will ensure that at least 20% of the European budget is climate-related expenditure (to be approved by the European Parliament). Other funding opportunities can also be found via the work of the European Investment Bank or the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Flourishing euro © iStockphoto

On the other hand, the EU also finances climate change adaptation outside its borders, being the largest contributor of climate finance to developing countries and the world's biggest aid donor, collectively providing more than half of global official development assistance (ODA).

Climate change adaptation is mainstreamed (integrated) throughout EU sectoral policies, using, on one hand, the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds): the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF), Cohesion Fund (CF), European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), and European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

On the other hand, other instruments exist, such as Horizon 2020 that will promote research and development on climate change adaptation, the LIFE instrument which finances a wide range of projects related to environment and climate mitigation and adaptation, or the EU Solidarity Fund for natural disasters.

Finally, climate adaptation is integrated into funding and loans by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and is a major issue for insurance and other cross-cutting issues in the private sector.

  • [1] Europe 2020 is a 10-year EU strategy proposed by the Commission on March 3, 2010, following the Lisbon Strategy for the period 2000-2010. It establishes the EU's strategy for jobs and for the coming decade with five ambitious objectives and headline targets on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion and climate/energy to be reached by 2020.
  • [2] The Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) is a mechanism for ensuring that EU spending is predictable and at the same time subject to strict budgetary discipline. It defines the maximum amounts available for each major spending area of the EU budget for a period of 5-7 years.. The MFF sets de facto political priorities for future years and constitutes therefore a political as well as a budgetary framework.

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