There are many forms of funding for climate change adaptation measures. 

Below are a few examples of how and where funds can be applied for via Swedish sources. There are also opportunities for funding within the major EU programmes.

How can climate change adaptation be financed within municipalities?

Obtaining funding for climate change adaptation can represent a challenge for many municipalities. There may be solutions within municipal budgets, using funding instruments such as water service charges and green obligations, or project funding from national programmes and EU funds.

The Rural Development Programme for Sweden

The Rural Development Programme for Sweden is the EU’s programme for developing rural areas. The programme aims to create profitable and robust businesses, active farmers who provide open land with grazing animals, and an attractive countryside. The environment, sustainable development and innovation are prioritised, and this also includes climate change adaptation.

Locally led development via the LEADER method

Funding for climate change adaptation projects in rural areas and small communities can be applied for via operations for locally led development. Possible projects could involve developing attractive green spaces that also retain water, or dealing with flooding risks in a watercourse. 

Challenge-driven innovation – Vinnova

Within challenge-driven innovation, there are opportunities to apply for funding for projects that address social challenges and drive innovation and growth in Sweden in a global context. This programme invites funding for projects that deal with climate change adaptation.

Innovations for Sustainable Cities – support for cutting-edge technology and new system solutions

The Innovations for Sustainable Cities initiative includes opportunities for municipalities, county councils, businesses, housing cooperatives, universities, university colleges and other bodies to apply for funding for climate change adaptation in urban environments.

Government grants for preventive measures against natural disasters (MSB)

If a municipality has built-up areas that are threatened by natural disasters, areas with unstable ground that needs to be reinforced, or areas that need protection against flooding, it can apply for government grants for preventive measures from the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).

Funding for measures to strengthen society’s emergency preparedness (MSB)

Funding of measures to strengthen society’s emergency preparedness is based on the principle of responsibility. It means that it is primarily those normally responsible for an asset or an activity who also are responsible for carrying out and financing emergency preparedness measures for that asset or activity. In order to fund specific initiatives within prioritised areas, the Government has established a special grant: Grant 2:4 Emergency Preparedness. The agencies listed in the appendix to the Swedish Ordinance (2006:942) on Emergency Preparedness and Heightened State of Alert, or who are selected to participate in work within collaboration areas following a special decision from the Government or MSB, can apply for funding from this grant.


Vinnova’s programmes and other initiatives are carried out within the framework of eleven strategic areas, such as health, transport and the environment. Vinnova’s funding is normally made available within the framework of one of the announced programmes. These may have either time-limited announcements or be continuously open for applications throughout the programme period.


Formas finances projects including climate-related research projects. The climate issue – including the need for adaptation within land-based industries and society development – is highlighted as being particularly important. Ongoing projects linked to adaptation include projects on local capacity building, flooding calculations, local politics and biosphere research.


Mistra finances large-scale strategic environmental research programmes. Several of these initiatives are directly or indirectly relevant to the climate issue, including adaptation. Examples include Mistra Urban Futures. The results from previous programmes can be found on Mistra’s website.