International practice on assessing investment needs and securing investment to adapt

Assessing investment needs and securing investment to adapt to climate change is a fast moving, cross-cutting and emergent policy area, nationally and internationally.

This project sets out to learn from international attempts at assessing and securing the optimum level of investment in order to keep pace with climate change. The research has a particular emphasis on flood risk management, coastal change and coastal erosion.

Flood risk management in Scotland is risk-based and plan led. Available investment is targeted at areas of greatest risk with consideration given to other factors like social vulnerability. In that context, this report sets out to explore:

  • how international jurisdictions are determining the appropriate level and desired impact of future investment;
  • how future change is accounted for in decision making;
  • how an optimal and balanced investment is considered;
  • how others are funding and planning to invest for the future; and
  • lessons and approaches that may be applicable and transferable to Scotland.
Key findings
  • Framing of investment challenges and ambitions directly influences investment portfolios, levels of investment and concepts of optimal investment. This subsequently influences how choices are made and the types of funding and financing solutions attracted and secured. The framing of investment ambitions is unique to each jurisdiction and is both place and time sensitive.
  • Scottish practices are commensurate with international peers. Innovation in resilience and adaptation is fast moving and continued investment, experimentation and learning will be necessary to keep pace with emergent international practice.
  • In the interest of Scottish practice going further and faster, it will be advantageous for Scotland to formalise international collaboration and learning with respect to investment decision making, and funding and financing practice.

These findings will support Scotland’s response to the climate emergency, and the Scottish Government and partners in delivering the Flood Risk Management (Scotland) Act 2009 and the Second Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme (SCCAP).