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Adapting to climate change in The Netherlands: an inventory of climate adaptation options and ranking of alternatives


In many countries around the world impacts of climate change are assessed and adaptation options identified. We describe an approach for a qualitative and quantitative assessment of adaptation options to respond to climate change in the Netherlands. The study introduces an inventory and ranking of adaptation options based on stakeholder analysis and expert judgement, and presents some estimates of incremental costs and benefits. The qualitative assessment focuses on ranking and prioritisation of adaptation options. Options are selected and identified and discussed by stakeholders on the basis of a sectoral approach, and assessed with respect to their importance, urgency and other characteristics by experts. The preliminary quantitative assessment identifies incremental costs and benefits of adaptation options. Priority ranking based on a weighted sum of criteria reveals that in the Netherlands integrated nature and water management and risk based policies rank high, followed by policies aiming at ‘climate proof’ housing and infrastructure.


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Correspondence to E. C. van Ierland.

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de Bruin, K., Dellink, R.B., Ruijs, A. et al. Adapting to climate change in The Netherlands: an inventory of climate adaptation options and ranking of alternatives. Climatic Change 95, 23–45 (2009).

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  • Spatial Planning
  • Adaptation Option
  • Adaptation Policy
  • Institutional Complexity
  • National Research Programme