The county administrative boards have been tasked with coordinating climate change adaptation work regionally. Their remit covers many different areas that are affected by a changed climate: nature conservation, communications, food control, animal welfare, fisheries, gender equality, the cultural environment, social planning and emergency services. Climate change adaptation is also carried out within Sweden’s administrative regions.

The county administrative boards

The county administrative boards are national coordinating authorities, service authorities, boards of appeal and supervisory authorities. They work to ensure that the national objectives decided on by the Government are implemented. They are also responsible for initiating, supporting and evaluating climate change adaptation, for example by supporting the municipalities’ climate change adaptation work.

The starting point for the work of the county administrative boards is the tasks detailed in the Government’s annual appropriation document. The county administrative boards’ climate change adaptation work is also governed by the Ordinance (2018:1428) on Agencies’ Climate Change Adaptation.

The county administrative boards play an important role in coordinating this work within the counties, and also across county borders. Since the effects of a changed climate often extend beyond county borders, this is a crucial aspect of climate change adaptation work. The county administrative boards should work to ensure that actions taken in one municipality do not create problems in another. One area where this might be important is dealing with surface water, which often extends across large areas – sometimes several counties.

Another aspect of the county administrative boards’ work involves providing the municipalities with data for their planning and project management work. The county administrative boards have a right to review and scrutinise, and shall monitor municipal and state interests, public interests and the need for protection against accidents and human health in the municipality’s physical plans.

The county administrative boards also have a responsibility for coordinating regional emergency preparedness, and are the highest civilian defence authority within each county. This task includes providing information, building and maintaining networks, working to ensure effective use of resources, and compiling regional risk and vulnerability analyses. They should also ensure the uniform direction of crisis management preparations and monitor preparedness preparations.

In most cases, the county administrative boards have drawn up reports, analyses and other materials on climate change adaptation for their region.

The regions

The regions are responsible for operations such as health and medical care, public transport and regional development, but have no specific assignment linked to climate change adaptation.

However, the regions’ responsibility for regional development can be interpreted to include a responsibility for climate change adaptation in this regard. . The regions also have an important role to play within Sweden’s emergency preparedness. According to the Swedish Law on Extraordinary Events, the regions shall carry out risk and vulnerability analyses, shall have a plan for dealing with extraordinary events and a crisis management board, and shall train and drill officials and employees.

Examples of climate change adaptation work within several regions include preparedness for heatwaves within the care system, with established procedures for primary care.