‘Policy Mixer’ for climate adaptation

Picture: Sjon Heijenga

The decision support working group within the Alliance for Financial Incentives created a framework for developing a mix of financial incentives and other policy instruments for climate change adaptation. After two years of pilots and collaboration on financial incentives for adaptation, the partners closed the Alliance Financial Incentives during the partner meeting on June 8th. All three working groups were featured. The decision support working group, which NextGreen facilitates together with Stroom en Onderstroom, presented her final product: the ‘Policy Mixer’.


The Policy Mixer is developed for municipalities and water boards and acts as a guide to develop policy instruments and incentives for climate adaptation on private land. Different types of financial incentives can be used to stimulate climate adaptation on private land, such as subsidy schemes, in kind services, green taxes and reduced administration fees for green building projects. But how should a municipality choose between these different types of policy instruments?

Framework with tools

The past years, several digital tools have been developed that all solve a part of the climate adaptation puzzle. The municipalities and water boards in the working group collaborated based on the issues from their climate adaptation practice. NextGreen and Stroom en Onderstroom facilitated them to create a framework with four steps that structures the choices and decisions that are needed to get to financial incentives for adaptation. In every step, the Policy Mixer refers to tools that can help to substantiate the choices that need to be made – both existing tools and tools developed in the pilots of the Alliance Financial Incentives.

Four steps based on practical experience

  1. Clarifying the goals and challenges for climate change adaptation. From the experiences of the working group members, it is clear that adaptation does not work without a good problem analysis and clear goals.
  2. Pinpointing the desirable physical measures and the most important stakeholders. Here it should be noted that usually more than half of urban areas consists of private land. Therefore, it is often not possible to solve climate change adaptation challenges in the public space alone.
  3. Deciding on the mix of policy instruments to stimulate climate change adaptation on private land. This can be a mix of communication, financial incentives and legal instruments. The experiences of working group members show that a broad mix of policy instruments is needed to mobilize inhabitants and entrepreneurs.
  4. The last step of the framework zooms in on financial incentives as a part of the mix of policy instruments. Here we refer, among others, to tools and examples that have been developed within the Alliance Financial Incentives over the past two years.

The following organisations contributed to the Policy Mixer: municipalities of Dordrecht, Enschede, Harderwijk, the working region of Noord-Veluwe, and the water boards of Hoogheemraadschap Delfland and de Dommel. We would like to thank the partners for their contributions and hope that the Policy Mixer will help other municipalities and water boards as well to stimulate climate change adaptation on private land.

Together with Stroom en Onderstroom, NextGreen is working on a new learning and development process together with governments. The goal is to further encourage inhabitants and entrepreneurs to become active in the areas of climate change adaptation, biodiversity, energy transition and/or the environment through innovation in policy and financial incentives.

Download the Policy Mixer (in Dutch).

Read more about this project on the project page Alliance for Financial Incentives.

Drop us an e-mail at info@nextgreen.nl if you are interested in the new learning and development process.