Last update:17 Feb 2018

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy
  • Adopted
Action plans
  • Adopted
Impacts, vulnerability and adaptation assessments
  • Completed
Climate services / Met Office
  • Established
Research programs
  • Currently being undertaken
Web portal
  • Online
Monitoring, Indicators, Methodologies
  • Being developed
Training and education resources
National Communication to the UNFCCC
  • Last National Communication Submitted

In March 2008, the Danish government launched the first Danish strategy for adaptation to a changing climate.

Following a new government in 2011 an action plan for a climate-proof Denmark was launched in December 2012. The action plan is based on the notion that a responsible climate policy must more than just work towards limiting climate change in the long term. It must also ensure the action necessary right now to adapt our society to a climate that is already changing.

In 2012 The Minister for the Environment established a two-year task force on climate change adaptation. The objective of the task force was to prepare an action plan for climate change adaptation, to ensure up-to-date data and relevant knowledge on the Danish Portal for Climate Change Adaptation and to set up a mobile team.

The mobile team offered guidance and facilitated collaboration between municipal authorities and other stakeholders in the field, for example with regards to preparing the municipal climate change adaptation plans.

The portal also contains news, concrete cases of climate change adaptation and many interactive tools. A number of tools aimed at municipalities, enterprises and individuals, were made available in 2012. These tools can be used to assess risk from flooding e.g. rising sea level and to climate-proof buildings.

The Danish work with climate adaptation revolves around key priority sectors. The overarching goal is to gather and create knowledge in these particular areas for further use. The sectors are:

  • Coastal management
  • Buildings and construction
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Forest
  • Fisheries
  • Planning
  • Health
  • Preparedness
  • Nature
  • Insurance
  • Transport

In addition to the 13 sectors, the web portal collects and presents technologies and technological development in the field of climate adaptation and combines it with prospects of financing and government subsidies.

The impacts of possible climate change in Denmark have been evaluated several times and most recently in the report of 2012 by the Task Force on Climate Change Adaptation: Mapping climate change – barriers and opportunities for action.

A review of the significance of climate change up to 2050 for the individual sectors and industries shows that Danish society may experience both positive and negative impacts.

The positive impacts will relate primarily to the higher temperatures which will result e.g. in a longer growing season and increased productivity for forestry and agriculture. Milder winters will moreover reduce energy consumption and construction costs, as well as the costs of winter weather preparedness and road salt.

The negative impacts of climate change will relate primarily to more frequent extreme rainfall, rising sea levels and more storms which can lead to flooding and damage to infrastructure and buildings as well as erosion along coasts.

As a common basis for adaptation, the Danish strategy includes projections on the future climate based on the IPCC SRES scenarios, A2 and B2 as well as on the EU 2 degrees target for the end of this century. The choice of the three scenarios is in accordance with IPCC AR4 recommendations to use two or more scenarios in order to illustrate the range of possible climate developments. In addition, the A1B scenario has been included for the period 2021-2050. All projections are presented in a webGIS (in Danish only) available in the online web portal, (partly available in English). In addition to the projections, observations are provided of a 1961-90 baseline average dataset on temperature and precipitation on the webGIS. Information on RCP2.6, RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 is also presented.

Central to climate change adaptation efforts is a strong interaction between state and municipalities. The government and the municipalities have agreed that the municipalities will increase investments in climate change adaptation of wastewater treatment. This agreement also entails that all municipalities carry out a risk assessment and prepare municipal climate change adaptations plans. Almost all 98 Danish municipalities have finalized their action plans and the rest will catch up during 2016. Each plan includes a flood risk mapping and sets the priorities for the local climate change adaptation measures. The content of the plans as well as the legal framework is now being evaluated.

Local initiatives are vital for ensuring the adaptive capacity of Denmark. Hence the local planning in municipalities is important. Following the creation of local climate adaptation plans the municipalities have now laid the base to develop project catalogues for future implementations of climate adaptation. The municipalities can use the risk assessments to plan initiatives in particularly exposed areas.

Local Government Denmark (LGDK) is the umbrella and interest group for Danish municipalities. All 98 municipalities are members. LGDK has a climate network, which comprises some of the municipalities.

A variety of case studies on climate change adaptation is provided at the Climate Adaptation Portal. Climate Adaptation plans for all Danish municipalities are collected here (In Danish).

In 2011 the City of Copenhagen adopted a Climate Change Adaptation Plan, which can be accessed here.

Climate Adaptation plans for all Danish municipalities are collected here (In Danish).
Danish Agency for Water and Nature Management
Haraldsgade 53
DK-2100 Copenhagen East


Document Actions