Adaptation to climate change in the Netherlands - Studying related risks and opportunities

10-11-2015 | Publication

The Netherlands, similar to many other countries, is vulnerable to climate change. With its new Delta Programme, the Dutch Government has made an important step forward towards national climate-resilience. However, the programme’s adaptation strategy does not cover all the risks and opportunities for the Netherlands in relation to climate change; instead, it focuses mainly on flood protection, freshwater supply, and spatial adaptation to urban flooding and urban heat stress.

Climate risks and adaptation deficit are increasing

This study shows that, in addition to the Delta Programme, more attention is needed for the impact of climate on the Dutch economy, population and nature. The changing climate calls for adaptation in many sectors and on many scales.

On a national scale the main points of urgency for adaptation to climate change concern investments in critical infrastructure and networks. Provinces, municipalities and water boards also have the task of seriously addressing climate resilience in their spatial planning. Without adequate adaptation measures, the ‘adaptation deficit’ will only increase over the coming decades.