Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Bulgaria.


Bulgaria is subject to both international and European Union frameworks for climate change. At an international level, it is subscribed to international frameworks as a member of UNFCCC, and signatory to Kyoto and Paris Agreement. Bulgaria submitted INDC and NDC as a European member state. Bulgaria follows the framework set forth by Europe 2020 strategy, EU strategy on adaptation, 7th Environmental action program, other regulations. At a country level, the National Ministry of Environment and Water (MOEW) is the central body that coordinates adaptation policy making. Climate change is recognized in the national development program and plan for Bulgaria 2020 and is an important component of the Third National Action Plan on Climate Change 2013-2020. The MOEW is in the process of developing their adaptation plan.

Key Adaptation Policies & Reports

Adaptation Options for Key Sectors

  • Bulgaria plans several investments in agriculture, specifically, it will invest 7.4 billion euros in the farming sector and rural areas through the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy.
  • Adaptation approaches need to consider the heterogeneity between farm structures which influence adaptive capacity.
  • Investing in different crops with higher heat tolerance or less dependent on seasonal variation, adjusting timing of farm operations, while also changing existing natural resource management to save existing ecosystems and grassland.
  • Building adaptive capacity through extension research and services, increase support for research to develop new crops or farming practices, and invest in insurance and risk management programs.
  • Incorporating resilience planning into components of current energy plans is necessary to ensure long-term energy resilience.
  • Investment in institutional knowledge and capacity to provide training that would facilitate climate change adaptation mainstreaming.
  • Need for financial mechanisms for large scale investments required in energy production and distribution.
  • The importance of the forestry sector is recognized by the Bulgarian government both in their National Communications on Climate Change as well as national strategies for the development of the forest sector.
  • Increase forest health and safeguarding biodiversity in the short term and research and extension to promote sustainable forest use is critical for effective forest management.
  • Supporting biodiversity and genetic diversity in forest through lodging, conservation, and restoration practices.
  • In Bulgaria’s Seventh National Communication, human health is considered in relation to sectors that create externalities affecting health such as transportation, waste management. It is also connected with natural disasters.
  • Health is closely connected to the environment, in fact, environmental issues such as air pollution are among the top 10 risk factors associated with burden of disease measured in disability adjusted life years.
  • Reduce social vulnerability, improve health systems to increase overall health and coping capacity. 
  • The warm spell duration index is also expected to increase by 16-39 days compared to the historical 1-2 days between 1986-2005. It is important to develop early warning systems and methods for people to maintain healthy body temperatures during extreme heat events.
  • Sustainable use of surface water, groundwater, and ocean systems and effective efforts to limit the impacts from human impacts such as pollution from runoff and waste water management are required for long-term availability of the resource.
  • Attention is required to improve disaster risk management both in areas that are expected to experience scarcity as well as areas vulnerable to flooding.
  • Improvements in current land irrigation practices are necessary to improve water efficiency in the agricultural sector.

Gaps and Needs

  • Regional projections of hydrological hazards and storms
  • More research on wildfire risk management
  • Information on urban resilience
  • Academic research for regional climate modeling of climate variability
  • Lack of knowledge, skills and technologies for improving water use efficiency in agriculture.
  • Lack of economic diversification for key sectors like tourism and agriculture
  • Lack of holistic sustainable water management policies
  • Regional climate change projections specifically pertaining to hydrological changes
  • Local capacity to study adaptive opportunities in agriculture
  • Data on waste water management and pollution
  • Information required for risk mitigation tools like index insurance
  • Increase tools for risk identification and reduction
  • Improve technical capacity to analyze hydro-met data and project impacts across sectors
  • Establish institutional capacity for providing timely early warning systems
  • Better coordination between the competent authorities and institutions working on climate change adaptation
  • Integrate vertical plans with horizontal plans for coherent adaptation policy
  • Include municipalities and local government capacity to implement adaptation
  • Understand gaps in legislation
  • Address training gaps to increase number of training for experts and occupations relevant to climate change adaptation. Increase capacity to create expert resources in all departments and institutions bearing responsibilities for the implementation
  • Increase level of awareness of climate change impacts in decision-makers and staff