Climate change adaptation (CCA) is argued to require coordinated policy responses because it is a complex, long-term, knowledge intensive, cross-sectoral, and multi-level governance challenge that involves many interdependencies and actors with different perceptions, goals, and approaches. This study, therefore, examines approaches of a set of European Union (EU) member states (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom (England)) to pursue a more coordinated approach to CCA policy. It specifically addresses the co-ordination approaches that the selected countries use for the development and implementation of their national CCA policies in the immediate period following the publication of the EU’s 2013 Adaptation Strategy. The analysis demonstrates that while useful coordination processes have been established in the analyzed EU member states, they have difficulty in challenging existing institutional hierarchies and decision rules. Consequently, longer-term opportunities for managing CCA conflicts and synergies among sectoral policies have to date been limited.
Keywords: climate change adaptation; policy coordination; policy integration; European Union; EU Member State; adaptation strategy