The document discloses the annual progress of RegionsAdapt, a global initiative that supports the acceleration of climate change adaptation by subnational governments.

  • 28 regions reported in 2020 on their climate risks and adaptation actions through the CDP States and Regions Platform.
  • 79% of disclosing regions have undertaken or are in process of developing a vulnerability assessment, 68% already have an adaptation plan in place.
  • Together, over 180 climate change impacts and 230 different adaptation actions were reported.

In the framework of the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, 28 regional governments from 15 different countries worldwide, representing 233 million people disclosed information on their climate risks and related adaptation efforts as a response to the urgent need to take action to face the climate emergency. The RegionsAdapt Brief Report 2020 is the result of the fifth year of work of the RegionsAdapt, a global initiative, launched by Regions4 at COP21 that inspires and supports regional governments to develop ambitious strategies, take concrete action, collaborate, and report efforts on climate adaptation.

The report contains data from 28 RegionsAdapt members, disclosed through the CDP States and Regions Platform as one of the commitments they agree upon when joining the initiative. This year, reported current and future risks resulting from climate change impacts include 185 physical risks, with more intense and frequent rainfall and droughts as the most reported physical impact followed by more intense and frequent heatwaves and hot days. Additionally, 89% of disclosing regions reported to be experiencing socio-economic impacts with health risk as the top concern of the disclosing regions, followed by increased economic loss resulting from disasters.

Based on the most recent science, we must halve global emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change such as amplification of heat waves, floods, droughts and coastal inundation – we know what is at stake. But there is reason to be optimistic – findings from this report show that these 28 regional governments are taking these threats seriously and working to build resilience against them. More than three quarters (79%) of disclosing regions have either completed a climate change or vulnerability assessment (54%) or have one in development (25%) to determine how they are or will be affected by climate change.”, said Kyra Appleby, Global Director of Cities, States and Regions at CDP.

Responding to the urgency to act that arises from these risk assessments, 68% of the reporting regions have already adopted an adaptation plan and 21% are in progress of developing one. With over 230 adaptation actions reported in areas spanning from biodiversity monitoring to incorporating climate change into long-term planning, regional governments worldwide continue to lead the way to a resilient future.

Furthermore, the report shows that the disclosing regional governments are also taking the lead in fostering multi-level adaptation governance. As confirmed by the Paris Agreement, adaptation needs to be addressed by all levels of government. In this sense, 25 of the 28 regions reported to be collaborating with their national counterparts, while all regions reported to be collaborating with their local counterparts, ensuring that local realities are reflected in their adaptation plans.

The experiences and progress of these leading regions show that the recovery from the pandemic must prioritise adaptation actions that can create transformative change and contribute to the wellbeing of communities and territories worldwide”, stated Iñaki Susaeta, Regions4 Secretary General.

RegionsAdapt continues to offer a unique platform for regional governments to advance these efforts and further foster a multi-level governance approach by facilitating opportunities for cooperation and knowledge exchange among its members.

Further information

Download the full report here.

To join Regions4 and the RegionsAdapt initiative, please click here.

For further questions, please get in touch with RegionsAdapt Project Officer, Mayra García-Blásquez at