Measuring Progress in Urban Climate Change Adaptation

C40, The Ramboll Foundation and Ramboll
Posted on: 1/16/2024 - Updated on: 1/19/2024

Posted by




In order to assess the impacts and success of their climate change adaptation plans, cities must monitor and evaluate the results of their adaptation actions. Indeed, one of the crucial components of C40’s Deadline 2020 climate action planning programme is the monitoring and evaluation of cities’ climate change actions. However, the outcomes and impacts of climate change adaptation actions are difficult to track and monitor, and there is a lack of sufficient adaptation monitoring tools. As a result, cities face a significant challenge in determining the success or failure of their adaptation actions. This presents a barrier to making a case for adaptation, securing funding and implementing plans as effectively as possible. 

C40’s Climate Change Adaptation Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting (CCA MER) Framework paves the way towards this goal. It is intended to help cities “make the case” for climate adaptation and assist and incentivise targeted climate change adaptation initiatives for C40 and non-C40 cities. The Framework consists of three main components – a guide to measuring progress in Climate Change Adaptation, an indicator matrix and a manual on using the matrix. 

The Guide provides step-by-step guidance on the process of developing and implementing a MER framework for city practitioners. There is no prescriptive, one-size-fits all solution for designing and implementing a CCA MER framework. This guide is based on a review of several guidelines and approaches that have been developed in the past years. It is neither intended to replace nor copy those guidelines, but rather to complement them by providing concrete guidance to cities to structure their process for developing and implementing a CCA MER.

Importantly, the framework has been developed in collaboration with cities and for cities. Initial interviews were conducted with C40 cities engaged in adaptation monitoring to collect the lessons learned and explore the different approaches used. The guidance material and process has been piloted in three C40 cities – Quito (Ecuador), Johannesburg (South Africa), and Austin (USA). The framework and indicators address and acknowledge the high level of diversity in C40 Cities. A wide variety of cities should therefore be able to use these tools and guidelines to create an appropriate framework for their unique situation, capacities (technical skills, data availability and resources) and information needs.


C40, The Ramboll Foundation, Ramboll (2019). Measuring Progress in Urban Climate Change Adaptation.

Affiliated Organizations

The Ramboll Foundation, Ramboll

Affiliated Organizations


C40 is a global network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities that are united in action to confront the climate crisis.

Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using an inclusive, science-based and collaborative approach to cut their fair share of emissions in half by 2030, help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C, and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities. C40 supports mayors to do this by:

Related Resources