This chapter discusses the emergence of national adaptation policy in the developed world. It presents findings from empirical studies that have examined the development of national-level strategies and focuses on understanding the process of institutionalization and implementation of national adaptation, particularly in the context of vertical governance. Studies so far have shown that local authorities need support and guidance from the national level, and national adaptation strategies and climate change-related legislation can be key in adaptation action. While the drivers and enablers of adaptation policy implementation and institutionalization are both internal and external, the barriers are mainly internal. The chapter also discusses the content of national strategies and how they also need to take into account the indirect impacts of climate change, and addresses the emerging issue of monitoring and evaluation of national adaptation. Finally, in-depth comparative case studies are needed to further elaborate on the processes of institutionalization of national-level adaptation and to understand the links between institutionalisation and implementation progress.
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