The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation focuses its activities on those areas where acceleration is most needed: where action is most urgently required and where this is complementary to the work of others. It is an independent organisation, working across the Global North and South, with offices in the Netherlands.


GCECA was initiated by UN Environment and the governments of the Netherlands, Japan and the Philippines and has established partnerships with with global organisations, NGOs, governments, financial institutions knowledge institutions and businesses to accelerate climate adaptation. 


Climate Adaptation

Key questions in climate change adaptation:


What is climate adaptation excellence? The Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation will collect lessons from policies, programmes and projects and use those to define and build excellence in climate adaptation.

How can we accelerate climate adaptation? The resulting pool of global knowledge and know-how to understand what works and what doesn’t will be used to support countries, communities and companies to effectively integrate these in their climate adaptation activities, and make them suitable for public and/or private investment.



GCECA works across the different sectors and cross cutting issues to define and up-scale effective climate adaptation. It does this by:


  • Mobilising and convening the global adaptation community through discussion briefs, workshops, webinars & conferences to set the global adaptation knowledge agenda. 
  • Recognising and building excellence by mining projects for best practices and lessons learned to share tools, guidance, metrics and lessons.
  • Promoting the uptake of adaptation excellence by contributing to capacity building and technical assistance by partners, connecting projects to resources and offering global outlooks and policy advice.

Housing: One institution – Two locations

The GCECA will be located in the cities of Rotterdam and Groningen, the Netherlands combining the strengths and powers of divers but complementary regions and taking full advantage of their international networks, knowledge and experience.


Rotterdam and Groningen both provide inspiring housing and locations in a setting that breathes Climate Adaptation. Our cities and ecosystems complement each other in specific knowledge and experience and are eager to help not only the GCECA but also to connect with the other Dutch and international cities and institutions in the field of both climate mitigation and adaptation.


Rotterdam: Resilient Delta City

The executive management of GCECA will be allocated in Rotterdam. Initially in the Cambridge Innovation Centre (CIC), later possibly in a new floating office.

Lying for almost 80% below sea level, Rotterdam is very much aware of the impact of climate change and the necessity of climate adaptation. The city has an integrated adaptation strategy and is an active participant within the Dutch Delta Program. The city is collaborating with other cities, water authorities and knowledge institutes in the region. In addition Rotterdam is developing the C40 Adaptation Academy, member of 100Resilient Cities and host to different climate conferences.

Groningen: Climate Proof City

In Groningen the GCECA will settle in the Energy Academy Europe.

Groningen lying in the North of the Netherlands with the Waddenzee, salination and subsidence and earthquakes due to gas extraction is also very aware of the impact of climate change. The city is applying a wide range of adaptation measures (a.o. Integrated Water plan, Climate Proof City) and the region has many interesting adaptation projects, a.o. saline farming and rural water storage sites. The city plays an active role in collaborating with organizations like the Water Authorities and the University of Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Science and Wetsus.