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National circumstances relevant to adaptation actions

Germany is in the warm-temperate mid-latitude climate zone at the point of transition between the maritime climate of western Europe and the continental climate of eastern Europe. The central European climate shows the influence of moist, mild Atlantic air masses and dry continental air, which is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. The prevailing air mass depends on the large-scale circulation pattern. This means that the seasons can vary quite considerably from year to year and the climate in Germany is marked by a high level of variability as a result. The topography of Germany, its low mountain ranges and the different types of landscape they encompass, has a strong influence on the highly varied structure of the climate. Altitude of the terrain and distance from the coast are the dominant influences on temperature. The oceanic influence, which diminishes from the north-west to the south-east, is responsible for Germany‘s relatively mild winters and moderately hot summers.

Temperature

The annual air temperature as an aggregated mean for Germany between 1881 and 2020 was determined statistically to have risen by 1.6 °C. A comparison of the climate reference period (1961–1990) with the actual reference period (1981–2010) confirms that the air temperature mean in Germany rose from 8.2 °C to 8.9 °C. This change has gone hand in hand with a fall in the number of cold and very cold days and a rise in the number of warm and very warm days. The frequency of hot days with a maximum temperature of at least 30 °C has increased in Germany nationwide, whereas ice days have become more and more infrequent during the past 60 years. At the same time, the frequency of intensive hot periods has increased, and the heat intensity has increased nationwide in Germany. Since 1951 there has been an increase in the number of hot days in terms of the surface area mean for Germany from a mean of approximately three days per annum to a current mean of approx. ten days per annum. The years with the most hot days were 2018, 2003 and 2015. This increase is backed up by statistics, notwithstanding great variability of this index from year to year.

Precipitation

Contrary to temperature, there are distinct differences in changes to precipitation in Germany, especially by season but also in spatial terms. In summer the rainfall mean has remained largely unchanged whereas in winter especially, conditions have become significantly more humid. Likewise, the amounts of precipitation have increased at times of seasonal change, although this increase is distinctly lower and statistically unproven. Overall, the surface area mean for Germany since 1881 shows an increase in the annual mean precipitation of 8.7 %. The most distinct changes have so far been observed for the winter season. The surface area mean for average precipitation levels has increased by 25 % since winter 1881 / 1882. With regard to the summer months, there has been hardly any change so far. It is more difficult, however, to make reliable statements regarding trends of heavy precipitation events. On one hand, such events display great variability both spatially and temporally. On the other hand, especially during summer months, convective events (the development of showers and thunderstorms) are considered relevant in cases where they occur either within the space of an hour or less. Although it is possible to observe tendencies towards a greater frequency of heavy precipitation events in the course of the past 65 years, it has so far not been possible, owing to the lack of available data, to make any statistically backed climatological statements on changes in heavy precipitation events.

Sea level rise

In the period since records began, the mean sea level has risen by around 2 to 4 mm per year along the entire North Sea coast. North Sea: Sea level records for the German Bight go back to 1843 (Cuxhaven), although most date from the 1930s. There are large differences in the rate of relative sea level rise of between 1.7 mm/year and 4.1 mm/year depending on geographical location.

Baltic Sea: The absolute sea level on the Baltic Sea coast has risen by around 1.4–2.0 mm/year. Apart from the south-west Baltic Sea, relative sea level is falling in all other coastal regions as a result of the ongoing post-glacial rebound.
According to a first estimate of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), 83.2 million people were living in Germany at the end of 2020 (42,1 million women, 41,0 million men). Due to lower net immigration, higher mortality and an expected slightly smaller number of births compared with the previous year, the population did not grow for the first time since 2011. Since the time Germany was reunited three decades ago, the country’s population had mainly been growing; exceptions were the years 1998 and 2003 to 2010. However, population growth had been based only on net immigration, that is, immigration was higher than emigration. Without the migration surplus, the population would have fallen since 1972 because more people died than were born in each year ever since. For 2030, it is expected that the labour force will comprise more people aged 65 to 74 than people under 20. According to the 2020 labour force projection, 1.5 to 2.4 million people in the labour force will be aged between 65 and 74 years at the beginning of the next decade, and only about 1.1 million between 15 and 19 years. The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) also reports that presumably 1.2 to 2.2 million people in the labour force will belong to the older age group, and 1.0 to 1.1 million to the younger age group in 2060. In 2019, each group comprised 1.2 million people in the labour force.
After ten years of continuous economic growth, the coronavirus pandemic caused GDP to decline by 5.0% overall in 2020. However, the decrease turned out to be not nearly as dramatic as many experts had been predicting over the course of the year. The latest figures are indicative of a two-pronged economic development: while the services sector is once again being more heavily impacted by the restrictions on social contacts, the industrial sector continues to experience robust development. Also, the labour market has so far demonstrated considerable resilience.

Situation on Transport, transport infrastructure

Climate change will affect the modes of transport and the infrastructure facilities in Germany, including the associated operational procedures in various ways and to differing degrees. The proper functioning of transport is extremely important for the German marketplace and can be significantly disrupted from the consequences of climate changeFor example heat, frost events, droughts, storms, sea level rise or water levels of rivers impact in different ways the various modes of transport. According to the national vulnerability assessment frost damage will compromise transport less, already in the near future, while heat-related damage, even if it varies by region, will increase (medium confidence). In the near future with a strong change the spatial areas impacted from both river flooding and flash floods would continue to increase (medium confidence). In parts of southern Germany air traffic is presently identified at being at a higher risk of icing of airplanes than in northern Germany. In the near future however, the effects of frost or days of freeze-thaw cycles will decrease (medium confidence).

Situation on Building industry

Climate change impacts the built environment. Germany has relatively high building standards, but extreme weather events such as wind storms show time and again quite plainly how susceptible the Building industry can be in all its manifestations. Changing precipitation and temperatures, sea level rise and other extreme weather events also have a significant impact. Thus, buildings and infrastructures can be seriously damaged and changes of the indoor and urban climate can occur.

According to the national vulnerability assessment the impact of storm surges on buildings and infrastructure concerns at present primarily the Baltic Sea coast as well as the forelands not protected by dikes and the North Frisian Halligen islands on the North Sea coast (low confidence). For the near future in case of a strong change, an intensification of storm surge-related floods could lead to a spatial expansion, in particular on the North Sea coast. There are potentially high impacts in the domain of river flooding – in particular due to a high degree of sensitivity – already today in cities such as Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and the Rhine-Main region and in the districts on the Elbe, Weser, Ems, Danube and the Lower Rhine. With a strong change, a further increase in the potential flood risk could arise for settlements and population in the near future. Impacts in the domain of flash floods exist today for example on the edge of the Alps or in the Bergisch tri-city area. The potential for flash floods develops differently according to the scenario considered. With a strong change it could seriously increase and create new geographic emphases (medium to high confidence). Today, urban agglomerations and coastal zones in particular are affected by strong wind. With a weak change, easing can occur near the coasts and in some rural areas, with a strong change however the threat would spread regionally and intensify (low confidence). With respect to impact on urban climate and air quality, mainly urban agglomerations are affected, for example along the Rhine. With a strong change, the impact could intensify significantly and newly affected regions would be included, in particular in southern parts of eastern Germany (high confidence). Cooling expenses would likewise increase significantly in the scenario of a strong change (low to medium confidence).

Situation on Industry and commerce

The impact of climate signals such as extreme weather events and the gradual temperature rise on the action field "Industry and commerce" depends on factors such as raw material input, the (global) interconnectedness of value-added chains and the dependence of companies on very precise logistics processes. The key sensitivities of the action field comprise moreover the spatial situation and condition of facilities and infrastructures as well as the water and energy demand of companies. According to the national vulnerability assessment already at present the climate impacts "Risk of a possible release of hazardous substances" (low confidence) and "Negative impact on the land-based transport of goods" (medium confidence) have a medium significance. The significance of further climate impacts is currently low and with the exception of climate impact "Damage to commercial and industrial infrastructure from climate-related extreme events" (medium confidence) will also not likely change with a weak change in the near future. In case of a strong change, the negative impact on land-based transport of goods can attain a high significance. Moreover, energy consumption for cooling (medium confidence), additional expenses for planning processes for operations (medium to high confidence) and the negative impact on production processes and logistics (medium confidence) can gain significance.

Situation on Energy industry

Gradual and extreme temperature changes, and other extreme weather events will impact the energy industry. The actual impacts of climate change, however, are largely dependent on the current and future composition of the energy infrastructure. Because location, state and performance of sensitive infrastructure such as power stations as well as the location of agglomerations are particularly important for the sensitivity of the energy industry. Diversification and decentralisation may play an important role here. According to the national vulnerability assessment the significance of all climate impacts considered is assessed as low for the present, with one exception: medium significance is already attributed to the climate impact "Cooling water for thermal power stations" and in the case of a strong change, also in the near future. Thanks to a successful adaptation of cooling technology and the restructuring of the action field, the significance of this climate impact may drop in the case of a weak change in the future (medium to high confidence). In the case of a strong change, the significance of the climate impacts "Heating energy demand" (medium confidence), "Cooling energy demand" (low confidence) and "Damage to power stations and production facilities" (low confidence) will increase.

In particular, conglomerations are affected by climate change because of their energy demand. In southern Germany, the reliability of energy supply may decrease if power stations and electricity networks are not to be expanded and reconstructed (low confidence). Moreover, climate change impacts can be seasonally differentiated: extreme weather-related damage to power stations and transmission networks can mainly be expected in the winter months, while supply shortages due to an increase in cooling energy demand with simultaneous impairment of electricity production from hydro power and thermal power stations may occur mainly in the summer.

Reporting updated until: 2021-04-16

Item Status Links
National adaptation strategy (NAS)
  • actual NAS - adopted
  • actual NAS - adopted
National adaptation plan (NAP)
  • actual NAP - adopted
Sectoral adaptation plan (SAP)
Climate change impact and vulnerability assessment
  • completed
Meteorological observations
  • Established
Climate projections and services
  • Established
Adaptation portals and platforms
  • Established
  • Established
Monitoring, reporting and evaluation (MRE) indicators and methodologies
  • Established
  • Established
Key reports and publications
National communication to the UNFCCC
Governance regulation adaptation reporting
The Deutscher Wetterdienst monitors the weather in Germany from numerous locations and has been doing so in some places for more than 100 years. A multitude of parameters are registered, including temperature, precipitation and sunshine. The observed values vary from day to day and from year to year. Alongside this variability, the records made by the measurement systems of the Deutscher Wetterdienst also help to detect long-term changes. For Germany sufficient data exist from 1881 onwards enabling to identify detailed climate changes nation¬wide. However, this can be said only for variables such as monthly observations of temperature and precipitation. The relevant daily data as well as other measured variables such as sunshine duration are generally not available nationwide before 1951. It is possible, however, on the basis of available data to retrace at least the average conditions of the two most important meteorological variables up to the end of the 19th century and thus essentially also to the beginning of human impacts on the climate. The link between observed warming of the Earth‘s atmosphere and human activities has been clearly demonstrated in recent years. This reinforces the necessity for further study of the climate system. There are three key objectives for the years ahead: 1. Deeper understanding of the complex interactions within the climate system 2. Assessment of and response to the risks and opportunities arising from climate change 3. The role of climate research in society

The fundamental interactions of Earth‘s climate system are understood. However, the system is so complex that an enormous amount of research still needs to be done to improve the understanding of certain detailed aspects of the climate. This includes gaps in the understanding of specific processes as well as of the interactions between climate system components. The basis for long-term strategies for the further development and refinement of regional and global observation systems needs to be laid in research initiatives and models can be used to test many different hypotheses. Work must also be done to ensure that the relevant processes are systematically recorded over the long term. This requires reliable monitoring of anthropogenic changes and natural variability.
Climate modelling, projections and scenarios

The horizontal grid spacing of global climate models currently ranges from 120 to over 200 km, which means that the spatial resolution is not fine enough to be able to make any predictions about specific regions in Germany. The models are adequate for describing the fundamental variability of climate on a large scale, but the resolution does not allow a detailed presentation of differences in the extent of climate change in a specific region of the Earth such as Germany. Therefore, methods are used to obtain a regional breakdown, which include regional climate models and information from individual calculations of global models. The trends calculated differ, depending on the particular climate model and the initial and boundary conditions it uses. The resulting ranges of results produce uncertainties that must be considered when interpreting climate projections. Wider ranges require more cautious statements about subjects such as described signals of change. Four representative scenarios or representative concentration pathways (RCPs) were chosen in preparation for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The simulation calculation for Germany based on a climate change mitigation scenario (RCP 2.6), a moderate scenario (RCP 4.5) and the “business-as-usual” scenario (RCP 8.5). The mitigation scenario (RCP 2.6) is based on assumptions that correspond to the political aim of limiting the increase in global mean temperature to 2 degrees Celsius. It assumes a scenario pathway that is associated with a very strong, very fast reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared with current levels. Maximum radiative forcing (3.0 W/m2 ) is reached before 2050. It then decreases continuously to 2.6 W/m2 in 2100. The business-as-usual scenario (RCP 8.5) describes a world in which the energy supply is primarily based on the combustion of fossil carbon stocks. Greenhouse gas emissions increase from today's level, and there is a constant rise in radiative forcing up to 2100. The moderate scenario (RCP 4.5) describes a lesser increase in radiative forcing and thus lies between the mitigation and business-as-usual scenarios. For purposes of comparison SRES scenario A1B is used. It describes a world of strong economic growth and of population growth up to the middle of the century followed by a population decrease. The climate projection calculations of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on this scenario. Simulations with a horizontal grid mesh of 12.5 km are currently available for Germany. The results of 54 climate projection calculations covering the 1971-2100 period are used. Two 30-year periods are used to calculate the difference between the current situation and a future situation. An intermediate situation is calculated for each period. The 1971-2000 period from the models is used as the reference period for the observed climate. Two periods, referred to below as the short-term and long-term planning horizon, are analysed for the future. The short-term planning horizon describes the intermediate situation for the 2021-2050 period. The basis for the long-term planning horizon is the 2071-2100 period. Future changes are stated as a mean value and a range. The range is delimited by the lowest and highest change values from the existing data sets.
A cross-sectoral and consistent analysis of Germany’s vulnerability to climate change was prepared from 2011 to 2015. As an interdisciplinary scientific task it requires the cooperation of different disciplines and authorities as well as the integration of regional and action field-specific expertise. The aim was to consolidate current scientific knowledge on vulnerability assessment and information from the specialist authorities about the consequences of climate change in Germany. The federal authority climate adaptation network’s added value is that it initiated the networking of those Federal authorities and institutions involved. It encouraged the transdisciplinary thematic work in terms of vulnerability assessment and provided links for inter-agency cooperation to the authorities via the network, for example, for the integration of data and models.
Observed climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
  • Storm (including blizzards dust and sandstorms)
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Solifluction
Key future climate hazards Acute Chronic
Temperature
  • Wildfire
  • Temperature variability
Wind
Water
  • Heavy precipitation (rain hail snow/ice)
  • Sea level rise
Solid mass
  • Landslide
  • Solifluction
A further amplification of climate change in the coming decades increases the potential for damage to nature, society and economy. In many action fields, impacts are already expected to occur by the middle of the century. Considering that significantly greater changes are expected in many of the key climate signals especially towards the end of the century, it can be assumed that the strength and therefore also the significance of many climate impacts will continue to increase in Germany. Six priorities across all action fields can be derived from the findings of the analysis:1. Damage caused by rising heat stress in agglomerations: climate impacts such as direct heat stress on people and the deterioration of the urban climate and air quality as well as the indoor climate in buildings are of great significance for Germany in the near future, depending on the rate of climate change. Heat damage to roads, railway infrastructure and runways or adverse effects on the availability of cooling water for thermal power stations could also be of medium significance in the near future.
2. Adverse effects on water use through increased warming and progressive summer drought: the damage to soil water content and leachate is a climate impact that is directly associated with increased drought and, depending on the rate of climate change, is of great importance for Germany in the near future. Drought damage in agriculture and heat and drought stress in forestry are further climate impacts with a medium significance for Germany in the near future.
3. Damage to buildings and infrastructures through heavy rains and flash floods in urban areas: potential floods and undercutting of road and rail infrastructure, the negative effect on land-based transport of goods, damage to buildings and infrastructure by flash floods or impairments of the sewerage system and wastewater treatment plants are climate impacts that affect this area and could be of high significance for Germany in the near future.
4. Damage to buildings and infrastructure by river flooding: river flooding may result in a number of climate impacts that will be of high significance to Germany in the near future and that are comparable to the potential damage caused by heavy rain and flash floods. These include flooding and undercutting of road and railway infrastructure, potential adverse effects on landbased transport of goods, damage to buildings or impairments of the sewerage system and wastewater treatment plants.
5. Damage to coasts: coastline damage is increasingly affected by a rise in sea levels and the subsequent increased swell and rising storm surge risk. These impacts are significant mainly in the distant future. However, even in the near future and particularly when assuming a mix of scenarios with strong change, impairments to the transport of goods as well as damage caused by storm surges on traffic areas and buildings may already be of high significance.
6. Changes in the composition and the natural development phases of species: shifts of the marine species spectrum as well as changes in the growth, reproduction and mortality of fish stocks, the spread of invasive species and the shifts of agro-phenological phases and growth periods are climate impacts of a potentially high significance for Germany in the near future. If used for adaptation measures, a high adaptive capacity can help mitigate the vulnerability of a region in spite of strong climate impacts. Although agglomerations are relatively more affected by climate impacts, they often have a high adaptive capacity due to comparatively higher economic strength and population structure, while structurally weak regions show a rather low adaptive capacity. This includes mainly peripherally located regions with strong structural deficits as well as highly agglomerated regions with structural weaknesses.

Key affected sectors

Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Changes in temperature and precipitation as well as the change in the growth period act directly on the abiotic living conditions of flora and fauna. They affect fundamental processes such as phenology (flora), behaviour (fauna), habitat requirements, propagation, competitiveness and feeding relationships. Biodiversity in Germany is already threatened today. The main causes so far are the different land uses (agriculture, forestry, land-take by housing and transport) and their intensification. Accordingly, a decline in biodiversity, in particular of native species in agricultural land, in settlements, on the coasts and in the seas and in the Alps has been observed for decades. Four climate impacts selected were investigated in the project: climate impact on the "spread of invasive species", "areas of species", on "biotopes and habitats" and "ecosystem services". Operationalisation was carried out using model data and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
The adaptive capacity of the action field "Biodiversity" to the direct impacts of climate change is low to medium. While there are a number of measures that provide species a haven under climate change conditions and enable the necessary wandering, these actions cannot stop the species change. Overall, vulnerability seems to exist over the medium term especially to the spread of invasive species that are benefitting from climate change. Here the vulnerability is high as the significance of climate impact is estimated as high, and the adaptation options are limited. Overall, a medium to high vulnerability can be forecast in the action field "Biodiversity" for the near future, which may be increased in the distant future.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Overall, the spread of invasive species has been attributed the highest significance. In the near future, a rapid change with increasing spread of invasive species starting from the metropolitan regions (Rhine-Ruhr, Frankfurt, Munich), the upper Rhine valley and the central German drylands and the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains) foothill area can be expected (medium confidence). Local shifts in species due to climate change can occur. In southern Germany the number of species lost could be compensated for by potential emerging species, while in East Germany the balance may rather show a decline in the number of species (medium confidence). Water-bound habitats with low buffer capacity (peatlands, springs, small rivers, ponds) and biotopes and habitats adapted to cool temperatures are particularly sensitive among the biotopes and habitats (medium confidence). Most ecosystem services would only be slightly affected in the case of a weak change because ecosystem services can to some extent buffer direct changes in the ecosystems. In the case of strong changes, the importance of changes in ecosystem services may increase by mid-century and in the distant future (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
high
Climate change impacts the built environment. Germany has relatively high building standards, but extreme weather events such as wind storms show time and again quite plainly how susceptible the action field "Building industry" can be in all its manifestations. Changing precipitation and temperatures, sea level rise and other extreme weather events also have a significant impact. Thus, buildings and infrastructures can be seriously damaged and changes of the indoor and urban climate can occur. From a total of twelve climate impacts in the impact chains, five were studied in more detail. These are "Damage to buildings and infrastructures from storm surges", "Damage to buildings and infrastructures from river flooding and flash floods", "Damage to buildings and infrastructure from strong wind", "Urban climate and air quality" and "Indoor climate and cooling". Operationalisation was carried out by proxy indicators for all climate impacts that were investigated.
Vulnerability
medium
In action field "Building industry" there are numerous prospects for adaptation, for example through regional and urban land-use planning. Of particular importance furthermore are restructuring and modernisation methods on existing buildings or the construction of new climate-compatible buildings. The implementation depends frequently however on owner interests, the availability of subsidies or on the interests of historical preservation so that significant modifications can only be carried out cautiously on existing buildings. Consequently, action field "Building industry" has a medium to high vulnerability to climate change with a short- to long-term response time and a medium adaptive capacity to the impacts.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
The impact of storm surges on buildings and infrastructure concerns at present primarily the Baltic Sea coast as well as the forelands not protected by dikes and the North Frisian Halligen islands on the North Sea coast (low confidence). For the near future in case of a strong change, an intensification of storm surge-related floods could lead to a spatial expansion, in particular on the North Sea coast. There are potentially high impacts in the domain of river flooding – in particular due to a high degree of sensitivity – already today in cities such as Hamburg, Stuttgart, Munich and the Rhine-Main region and in the districts on the Elbe, Weser, Ems, Danube and the Lower Rhine. With a strong change, a further increase in the potential flood risk could arise for settlements and population in the near future. Impacts in the domain of flash floods exist today for example on the edge of the Alps or in the Bergisch tri-city area. The potential for flash floods develops differently according to the scenario considered. With a strong change it could seriously increase and create new geographic emphases (medium to high confidence).Today, urban agglomerations and coastal zones in particular are affected by strong wind. With a weak change, easing can occur near the coasts and in some rural areas, with a strong change however the threat would spread regionally and intensify (low confidence). With respect to impact on urban climate and air quality, mainly urban agglomerations are affected, for example along the Rhine. With a strong change, the impact could intensify significantly and newly affected regions would be included, in particular in southern parts of eastern Germany (high confidence). Cooling expenses would likewise increase significantly in the scenario of a strong change (low to medium confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Coastal and maritime regions are increasingly affected by the consequences of climate change. The species composition of flora and fauna in the North Sea and Baltic Sea depends on the food supply in the sea. Wind, temperature and salt content are the significant factors for a mixing of the water layers and the thereby associated food and oxygen situation. The sea-level rise and the expected increase in frequency and intensity of storm surges for the coastal regions lead to a heightened risk of floods. Coastal regions in Germany are subject to very many, in part very high, utilization requirements as they are areas for living, for the economy, for energy, for nature conservation and for tourism. From a total of nine climate impacts identified, three were examined more closely, of which "Storm surges" was assessed by a proxy indicator and the climate impacts "Strain on buildings and infrastructures" and "Damage to coasts (environmental changes)" were assessed by expert surveys.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The prospects for adapting to climate change are rated high. Coastal protection in Germany is considered well developed. It is consequently assumed that future, increased strains can be absorbed. In addition, continuous monitoring assists in the early recognition of climate-related changes. This results thereby in a medium vulnerability for the near future because of the moderate sea-level rise expected by mid-century and the sufficiently dimensioned coastal protection structures.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
In the near future, potential floods from storm surges in the case of a weak change could affectprimarily the Baltic Sea coast and the forelands not protected by dikes and the North Frisian Halligen islands on the North Sea coast. Assuming a strong climate change, there could be a dramatic enlargement of the potential flood areas. The marsh areas on the North Sea coast in Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein and the cities Bremen and Hamburg have to be considered in the case of a strong change with dike failure to be at risk from storm surge (low to medium confidence). Due to coastal protection measures on the Lower Saxon North Sea coast it can be assumed that all buildings and infrastructures are sufficiently protected in the near future (low confidence). These have however the general consequence of a strain on buildings and infrastructures from the increased difficulties of dewatering marsh areas due to a rise in sea level in case of a strong change. On the North Sea coast, a rather slight impact would be expected for coasts (environmental changes) in the case of a weak change. In the case of a strong change, the mainland would be more protected by the islands and the mudflats in case of storm surge, swell and sea-level rise than are the islands, which would undergo considerable dune erosion. Increased precipitation and incidents of heavy rainfall would in addition increase coastal erosion, in particular on the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
low
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Gradual and extreme temperature changes, and other extreme weather events will impact the energy industry. The actual impacts of climate change, however, are largely dependent on the current and future composition of the energy infrastructure. Because location, state and performance of sensitive infrastructure such as power stations as well as the location of agglomerations are particularly important for the sensitivity of the energy industry. Diversification and decentralisation may play an important role here. Impact chains developed for the action field "Energy industry" specify climate impacts in the following indicator fields: "Energy demand", "Energy conversion", "Energy infrastructure", "Availability of primary energy sources" and "Energy supply". These climate impacts include "Heating energy demand", "Cooling energy demand", "Hydropower", "Cooling water for thermal power stations", "Use of wind energy on land and at sea", "Damage to power stations and production facilities", "Damage to transmission networks" and "Reliability of energy supply ". They were operationalised using model results, proxy indicators and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
low
In particular, conglomerations are affected by climate change because of their energy demand. In southern Germany, the reliability of energy supply may decrease if power stations and electricity networks are not to be expanded and reconstructed (low confidence). Moreover, climate change impacts can be seasonally differentiated: extreme weather-related damage to power stations and transmission networks can mainly be expected in the winter months, while supply shortages due to an increase in cooling energy demand with simultaneous impairment of electricity production from hydro power and thermal power stations may occur mainly in the summer. The ultimate impact of climate change on the energy industry, however, can be expected in the regulatory field. Many experts believe that the necessary restructuring of the energy industry in the context of climate protection constitutes the biggest challenge. They estimate however, that the energy industry has an overall high adaptive capacity so that the action field’s vulnerability is considered as low.
Risk Future Impact
low
The significance of all climate impacts considered is assessed as low for the present, with one exception: medium significance is already attributed to the climate impact "Cooling water for thermal power stations" and in the case of a strong change, also in the near future. Thanks to a successful adaptation of cooling technology and the restructuring of the action field, the significance of this climate impact may drop in the case of a weak change in the future (medium to high confidence). In the case of a strong change, the significance of the climate impacts "Heating energy demand" (medium confidence), "Cooling energy demand" (low confidence) and "Damage to power stations and production facilities" (low confidence) will increase.
Impact/key hazard
low
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
The financial industry, and in particular the insurance and banking industries are affected by climate change in many ways. Extreme weather events such as hail, flooding or strong wind, or gradual changes of temperature, precipitation and sea level will have a direct impact on the existing network of insurance companies and banks. Secondly, they have an impact on insurance losses, risk calculation requirements and insurance premiums, investment priorities and interest and yields. This also includes the role of the state as the 'insurer of last resort'. These climate impacts were analysed in a summarised way for the action field "Financial industry" as "Climate change impacts on the insurance industry" and "Climate change impacts on the banking industry" and expert surveys were used to operationalise them.
Vulnerability
low
The experts surveyed were not able to estimate the trend for the banking industry and its climate change impact for the near future. The significance of the climate change impacts on the banking industry in Germany now and in the near future is low (medium confidence). Both the adaptive capacity of the insurance industry and the banking industry is generally regarded as high. Both the insurance industry and the banking industry have good risk management systems. Moreover, the banking industry can cover potential investment risks by insurance services. Although the financial sector’s vulnerability is low, the action field can play an important role in adapting to climate change in other activity areas by increasing their adaptive capacity.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Extreme climate events have already had a rather large impact on the insurance industry throughout Germany, while they play a minor role for the banking industry and a rather low climate change impact is therefore assumed. For the insurance industry, strong wind, including hail and, increasingly, flood events are of significance (medium to high confidence). At the same time, they face a low sensitivity because on the one hand public and private precaution against natural hazards and risk management increase and on the other, the insurance industry can rely on a wellfunctioning reinsurance market. This currently results in a low significance of these climate impacts for Germany. For the near future it is assumed that climate change will have a rather high impact on the insurance industry e.g. an increased demand for natural hazard insurance. In the case of a strong change this leads to a medium significance for climate change impacts on the insurance industry.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
The forestry sector is closely linked to water and nutrient supply of the soil. The climate and site conditions determine the range of possible tree species and their yield potential. Extreme weather events such as strong winds can permanently damage forests. Heat waves and drought can affect the occurrence of heat and drought stress and forest fires. Seven climate impacts have been selected for the project: "Composition of tree species", "Utility functions", "Protection functions", "Damage caused by pests", "Heat and drought stress", "Forest fire risk" and "Wind damage". Operationalisation was carried out by model results and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
Diverse adaptation options are there in the action field "Forestry". Whilst adaptation options initiated by the forests’ self-regulation are called passive adaptation, those initiated by human activities are called active adaptation. The final conclusion is that, for the near future, a medium to high degree of significance for forestry essentially creates a medium vulnerability, which may further increase in the distant future because of long adaptation times.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Climate change impacts on utility functions as well as damage caused by pests were evaluated as having great significance in the near future. The utility functions may mainly be impaired by a decline in water availability as a result of a potential decrease in summer precipitation and an increase in losses due to evapotranspiration. Spruce areas outside the low mountains and the Alps and the already rather dry beech areas are of concern in particular (medium confidence). Considering pests, bark beetle infestation of spruce may occur earlier and become more intensive. Also, damage caused by other pests (root and stem diseases) may increase as a result of climate change (low confidence). Other climate effects are also primarily linked to a decrease in water supply. In terms of regions, especially the continental regions of Eastern Germany would be affected, but also a belt which extends from South West Germany (Upper Rhine Valley) over Rhineland-Palatinate to the eastern part of Germany.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Human health is greatly influenced by climate. The impact of climate change on the population can be positive and negative. Demographic change may also contribute to an altered sensitivity of humans to the environment. It is mainly changes in temperature, humidity, frequency of extreme weather events and inversion weather conditions that have a strong influence on humans. Overall, 4 out of 14 identified climate impacts on human health were investigated in detail. These include "Heat stress", "Breathing difficulty due to ground-level ozone", "Carriers of pathogens" and "Load on emergency services, hospitals and doctors". In addition to proxy indicators, expert surveys were also conducted for the operationalisation of these climate impacts.
Vulnerability
medium
The future development will however, be affected by an increasing need for care due to demographic reasons, shortage of skilled personal and the extension of basic care, particularly in rural areas. With regard to the fight against disease carriers a medium adaptive capacity is available; it depends largely on whether common and consistent strategies are pursued and how much is invested in the research. Residential facilities are increasingly being adapted for the prevention of heat-related consequences. All in all, a medium vulnerability of human health in relation to climate changes can be assessed for the near future.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
In terms of heat stress, infants, young children, the elderly and sick people are especially affected. Due to the increase in the number of hot days, additional deaths can be expected, especially in urbanised areas (medium confidence). High ozone concentrations are mainly found in the suburbs of agglomerations. The trend in the decline in ozone precursors may counteract ozone pollution in future. Increased heat combined with strong sunlight, however, leads to higher ozone concentrations in spite of improved air quality (due to photochemical processes) (medium confidence). The transmission of pathogens on the other hand can be barely estimated due to complex interrelationships and the fact that research is still in its infancy. There is a risk that the number of ticks increases through climate-induced change in vegetation (medium confidence). An overload of emergency services, hospitals and physicians is not expected due to climate change. Increased demands might be placed on the health infrastructure during the course of heat waves (low confidence). In the area of health care there is currently a medium to high adaptive capacity: capacity limits have not been reached and there is a good basic service.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Fisheries are subdivided into deep-sea and inshore fishing as well as inland fisheries. From the change of temperature and the cooling demand, the range of species will change in the future, even if fisheries are significantly conditioned by socio-economic conditions. Furthermore, the climate signals "Sea level change", "Extreme weather events", "Change of precipitation" and the "CO2 change" have an influence on fisheries. Also the water quality will change in future. From a total of six climate impacts identified, four are examined more closely: "Alien species, Range of species", "Growth, reproduction and mortality of fish stocks", "Aquaculture (including damage)" and "Fishing conditions". The operationalisation was carried out through expert surveys.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The adaptive capacity of fisheries to climate change depends above all on their future management. It is also dependent on the size of the enterprise and regional factors. Thus, fishing companies on the Baltic Sea depend more heavily on climate-relevant factors than do companies on the North Sea because certain fish stocks there cannot be replaced by others. The adaptive capacity of the inshore fisheries is in general considerably lower than that of aquaculture inland, as it is exposed in a particular way to the climate changes of the ocean. An example is the temperature sensitivity of the spawning season. There is a higher adaptive capacity in downstream processing in the fishing industry. Since however the majority of fish is imported into Germany, the fishing industry is structurally affected by and dependent on global climate-related changes. Thereby, it can be ascertained that fisheries have a medium to high vulnerability to climate change with a low to medium adaptive capability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Fisheries could already in the near future be significantly negatively affected by climate change: A strong change can bring about a shift in the range of species, with an out-migration of native species and an in-migration of southern species (low confidence). A rise in the salt content and acidity of the sea can lead to a decimation of the range of species. Thus, the acidification of the ocean from higher CO2 contents will presumably already affect the stocks of many marine species worldwide in the next 20 years. Furthermore, the temperature also controls the growth, reproduction and mortality of fish stocks. In this way the stocks of native fish species could be depleted in the distant future (low confidence). The temperature is thereby a significant climatic influencing factor for potential damage to aquaculture. Rising water temperatures could negatively impact species and habitats, in particular in waters that are already affected by eutrophication (low to medium confidence). Climatic factors still play at present a rather subordinate role in fishing conditions. Their significance can however increase in the near future (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Climate has an influence on many soil processes including its creation, development, properties and functions. Soil type and cover influence the extent to which climate change affects soil water and temperature balance and encourages erosion. Type and intensity of soil usage also have a major influence on biological activity. The indicators of climate impacts "soil water content, leachate" and "soil erosion by water and wind, landslide" within the action field "Soil" were calculated using impact models. The assessment of climate impacts "soil biodiversity, microbial activity", "soil organic substance, nitrogen and phosphorus balance, substance discharges" and "production functions (site stability, soil fertility)" was performed based on expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
In general, a large number of adaptation options such as irrigation, fertilisation or crop speciesselection are available for the action field "Soil". The technical capacity for adaptation is therefore considered to be high to very high. However, the number of adaptation measures that can be carried out under the condition that no further consumption of resources is generated and the previous yields are maintained, is significantly lower. Overall, the sectoral adaptive capacity is therefore classified as medium despite some differences in detail. Considering a medium to high degree of significance, medium vulnerability can be obtained in the action field "Soil" for the near future.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
For the strong change scenario, all climate impacts within the action field "Soil" have been found to have a significant influence in the near future (2021 to 2050) throughout Germany. Impacts on soil water content and leachate in certain regions of Germany are already clearly noticeable. Significant drought phenomena might occur in the near future (medium to high confidence) in the case of "strong change". Clear climate change impacts are believed to have an influence on soil biodiversity and microbial activity (low confidence) and soil organic matter, nitrogen and phosphorus balance and substance discharges (low to medium confidence) even in the case of a weak change both in the present and the near future. An ongoing temperature increase and accompanying strong drought may increasingly change all soil processes by the end of the century.
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The Federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts. They clarify which climate signal influences which potential climate impacts and provide indications about interrelationships to other action fields. The network partners chose 72 climate impacts as potentially relevant from a large number of identified potential climate change impacts. The selection criteria included social, economic, ecological and cultural and spatial significance for Germany. Key sensitivities were discussed in expert workshops. An assessment methodology (impact models, proxy indicators or expert survey) constituted the basis for further assessment steps. In addition, the impact chains served as a basis for the analysis of the interrelationships between the individual action fields. The conceptual approach considers climate influence and the impacts of climate change for the present, the near future (the period from 2021 to 2050) and the distant future (the period from 2071 to 2100). The vulnerability assessment approach developed by the Federal authority climate adaptation network provides a system that enables clear guidance with reference to time. It is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s vulnerability concept as described in the Fourth Assessment Report was carried out by model results and expert surveys.
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Temperature and precipitation are climate factors with a key importance for agriculture. Even gradual changes, as well as extreme weather events such as heat waves or heavy rainfall, can lead to changes in agricultural production and affect the quantity and quality of agricultural yield. Five selected climate impacts were investigated: climate impacts on "agrophenological phases and growth period", "yield", "drought and frost damage," "pests and plant health" and consequences of "damage caused by extremes". Operationalisation took place by proxy indicators and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
mixed situation for different key hazards
The agricultural sector in Germany as a whole is able to cope with future climate-related challenges. Since management measures are available and the management periods in agriculture are mostly short, it can be expected to respond well and quickly to changing conditions. For some regions of Germany, opportunities to have positive effects on plant production may arise from climate changes that are moderate over the medium term. Considering the moderate degree of significance in combination with an overall high adaptive capacity to climatic change and its consequences, vulnerability of the agricultural sector is regarded as low. Crop species (non-irrigated summer crops have a high sensitivity), soil type (less fertile, sandy soils have a high sensitivity).
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
The greatest significance was attributed to the shift of agrophenological phases. Here, the positive effects of a prolonged period of growth outweigh the negative effects such as the risk of late frosts (medium to high confidence). The yield may slightly decline in regions with low rainfall and poor soils, although in areas that are cool today they can slightly increase if water supply is good (low confidence). In the future, however, the risk of drought and heat damage can increase, especially in southern and eastern Germany (medium to high confidence). Also, pests favoured by mild winters can increasingly spread and necessitate strengthening plant protection (medium to high confidence). Another threat comes from heavy rains and flooding (low confidence). No reliable projections are available for hail and strong winds (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
The tourism industry is very dependent on weather and climate as they have a decisive impact on the tourist season and the choice of destinations. Extreme weather events may especially affect holiday offers. The location of tourism providers and existing precautionary and diversification measures in particular play a role in the sensitivity of the tourism sector. Based on the impact chains developed for the action field "Tourism industry", the following three climate impacts have been analysed (see Table 13): "Business interruption", "Seasonal and regional shift in demand" and "Climate-related requirements for the tourist infrastructure". Operationalisation took place using proxy indicators, modelling data and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
The experts surveyed assessed the adaptive capacity of the tourism industry as medium to high. However, they also emphasised that the climate change impacts on the individual tourist segments and providers vary greatly and there will therefore be different adaptation requirements and options. The adaptation options are considered as technical and limited in time, especially for winter sport tourism. In view of the climate change impacts on the tourism industry and the results of sectoral adaptive capacity, the overall conclusion yields a low vulnerability for this action field.
Risk Future Impact
medium
In the present, and in the case of a weak change, all climate impacts in the "Tourism industry" field are of only low significance. In the case of a strong change amended climate-related requirements for the tourist infrastructure (medium confidence) and for the seasonal and regional shift in demand (low confidence) would be of medium significance in the near future. For example, resorts in the mountains and in the coastal zone would be affected by an increase in hot days, which could result in a lower demand. The winter sports season would become significantly shorter everywhere and push the sport to higher altitudes. On the other hand, a strong change can increase the number of swimming days everywhere, from which Germany may benefit in the future (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Climate change will affect modes of transport and infrastructure facilities in Germany, including the associated operational procedures in various ways and to differing degrees. The proper functioning of transport is extremely important for the German marketplace and could be significantly disrupted from the consequences of climate change. For example heat, frost events, drought, storms, sea level rise or water levels of rivers impact in different ways the various modes of transport. From a total of 18 identified climate impacts, five were analysed in greater detail. These are "Heat and frost damage to streets, railway infrastructure, runways", "Floods and undercutting of streets and railway infrastructure", "Icing of inland waterways", "Icing of airplanes" and "Navigability of inland waterways". Operationalisation draws upon proxy indicators, model data and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
The adaptive capacity in action field "Transport, transport infrastructure" is rated medium to high. Above all, technical and infrastructure, regulatory and informative measures as well as management options can contribute to a reduced vulnerability to climate change. In the road sector an example is the development of new asphalt mixes that are more resistant to heat and cold. Finally, action field "Transport, transport infrastructure" is rated as having a medium vulnerability to climate changes.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
Frost damage will compromise transport less, already in the near future, while heat-related damage, even if it varies by region, will increase (medium confidence). In the near future with a strong change the spatial areas impacted from both river flooding and flash floods would continue to increase (medium confidence). In parts of southern Germany air traffic is presently identified at being at a higher risk of icing of airplanes than in northern Germany. In the near future however the effects of frost or days of freeze-thaw cycles will decrease (medium confidence). The runoff projections indicate the impact of high and especially low water on inland navigation is increasing in the second half of the century, i.e. extreme water discharges become more frequent towards the end of the century. Above all, river sections that are regulated by dams will be significantly less affected (low confidence).
Impact/key hazard
mixed impacts for different hazards
The federal authority climate adaptation network defined “impact chains” for each action field of the German Adaptation Strategy to visualise the cause-effect relationships between climate signals and potential climate impacts (for more information see agriculture).
Key hazard likelihood
different likelihood of their occurrence and exposure for different key hazards and/or climate scenarios
Water balance and water management are changed extensively by climate change: Natural water cycles as well as man-made cycles and interventions such as water supply and water disposal or reservoir management. Thus, for example in Germany, winter precipitation has constantly increased in the past decades. In the east there was a reduction in precipitation in summer. Such changes have impact on the groundwater recharge and runoff generation and can lead for example to regional water shortages, which in turn can have negative effects on the drinking water supply. At the same time they influence the water quality and can have negative effects on flora and fauna. Flood risks are elevated mainly in winter, since precipitation in the form of snow occurs more rarely due to rising temperatures and thereby flows off faster and less evenly. Incidents of heavy rainfall could increase, which in urban areas can lead (among others) to small-scale flooding and flash floods with extensive damage and a heavy burden to sewage systems. A total of eight impacts of climate change on water balance and water management are analysed in more detail: "Flow", "River flooding and flash floods", "Water availability from groundwater", "Water availability from surface waters", "Drinking water availability", "Effect on sewer system and wastewater treatment plants", "Reservoir management" and "Water quality". The operationalisation was carried out with model data, proxy indicators and expert surveys.
Vulnerability
medium
The adaptive capacity of "Water balance, water management" is rated medium to high. The reason for this among others is high technical and administrative competences and fundamentally high water availability. Measures and instruments such as water management plans, are available for numerous climate change-related impacts. In conclusion it can be stated that the action field "Water balance, water management" has a medium vulnerability.
Risk Future Impact
different rating of risks for different key hazards and/or under different climate scenarios
In the near future, significant changes of flow (rise and fall) are possible (medium confidence). River flooding already today poses a risk in many places that can rise or fall according to the climate scenario. Generally the impact varies considerably by region (medium confidence). The yearly groundwater recharge would only decrease with the assumption of a dry scenario depending on the region (medium confidence). The same applies for the general availability of surface waters for the withdrawal of water, whereby also here in long sustained periods of drought in summer it could result in use conflicts or water shortage (medium confidence). The management of the reservoirs has changed due to climate-related changes in the amounts of water and will do so also in the future. Smaller reservoirs that serve to provide both flood protection and drinking water supply are thereby in principle more vulnerable than larger and specialised reservoirs that can better compensate for fluctuations (medium confidence). Water quality will change from climate change only slightly, as anthropogenic factors such as intensive land use have a significantly greater influence on it (low confidence).

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the national level

A cross-sectoral and consistent German government’s vulnerability analysis is updated every six years and supported by a federal authority climate adaptation network. The aim is to consolidate current scientific knowledge on vulnerability assessment and information from the specialist authorities about the consequences of climate change in Germany to enable an interdisciplinary assessment of Germany's vulnerability. The willingness of the participating authorities to engage in interdisciplinary cooperation and provide their sectoral expertise were key to the network’s success. Alongside substantive findings, the added value is that it encouraged the transdisciplinary thematic work, for example, for the integration of data and models. The federal authority climate adaptation network has already initiated new projects and further developments for individual network partners, thus it is a key element of the climate change adaptation process in Germany.
Based on the methodologies agreed in the IMAA, a reporting system has been established for the process of planning climate change adaptation in Germany. The process can be divided into four phases based on the adaptation policy cycle :
1. Understand and describe climate change: The Monitoring Report provides an overview of the observed impacts of climate change and the adaptation measures already introduced in Germany. This provides a compact overview of the changes that can already be observed as a result of climate change using measured data.
2. Identify climate impacts and characterise vulnerabilities: The climate impact and vulnerability analysis (KWVA) identifies which fields of action and regions are particularly at risk from cli-mate change and where there is a need for action. Reference periods are: the present, near fu-ture (2031-2060) and distant future (2071-2100). The KWVA was developed for the first time in 2015.
3. Develop and implement measures: The Adaptation Action Plans (APAs) specify the current and future measures taken at the federal level to adapt to climate change. Among other things, they are based on the scientific findings and results of the KWVA. The APAs underpin the DAS by defining specific activities at the federal level and identify links with other national strategy processes. The APAs describe the measures to be implemented by the ministries within their respective spheres of responsibility.
4. Evaluation – observe, assess and develop adaptation: The strategy process and implementation of the DAS are evaluated on a regular basis. The first external evaluation was conducted in 2018. Evaluation of the DAS is performed in accordance with a methodology approved by the IMAA . The results of the evaluation were published as a scientific report in November 2019 and also underwent a review by the ministries; details of this review are included in this Progress Report. The Progress Reports set out practical steps for the further development and implementation of the German Adaptation Strategy. The present report continues the process of outlining the framework for action on climate change adaptation in Germany.
In 2017 the German EIA Act was amended by a provision that climate change effects are to be assessed in the EIA and thus have to be considered in the development consent procedure. According to this amendment, any impact that may occur due to the vulnerability of a planned projects against natural hazards caused by climate change has to be investigated and described in the EIA documentation (§16 with annex 4 EIA Act). Climate change effects are also to be investigated in the cases-by-case decision (§ 7 with annex 3 EIA Act). This procedure assesses whether the planned project may have significant effects and should thus undergo an EIA procedure. In the case that the climate change effect is relevant, it can alone trigger an EIA.
Civil protection is embedded as a cross-cutting issue in the DAS. Cooperation between the Interministerial Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change (IMAA) and the Interministerial Working Group for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework (IMAG Sendai) is ensured through representation on each other’s committees and intensive dialogue. For the IMAG Sendai, climate change and its impacts are becoming more significant in the context of disaster risk management at the national level. Like in the international context in national context there is now more linkage between climate change, sustainable development, humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness than before.
The German Climate Preparedness Portal (KLiVO www.klivoportal.de) collects data and information on climate change and adaptation to its effects. KLiVO currently comprises the German Climate Service (DKD) and the service for climate adaptation services (KlimAdapt). The DKD is hosted by the German Meteorological Service (DWD), with the BMVI as lead ministry. The KlimAdapt office is located at the KomPass Competence Centre – Climate Impacts and Adaptation in Germany at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), with the BMU as lead ministry. All the services provided by the DKD and KlimAdapt are presented on the KLiVO Portal.

Overview of institutional arrangements and governance at the sub-national level (where “sub-national” refers to local and regional)

The Conference of Environment Ministers of the Federation and the Länder (UMK) in 2009 has established the Standing Committee on Adaptation to Climate Change Impacts (StA AFK) as part of the Federation Working Group on Climate, Energy, Mobility and Sustainability (BLAG KliNa). The StA AFK is the main coordination mechanism for cooperation and is the forum through which strategies and measures adopted by the Land administrations feed into work on the DAS. More vertical (Federation-Länder-municipalities) and horizontal (cross-sectoral) policy integration are extremely important, increased coordination of strategic objectives across the federal and Land levels offers potential to intensify climate change adaptation in Germany in future.
The Expert Dialogue on Climate Impacts (Fachgespräch Klimafolgen) is an informal forum for discussion of climate impacts and adaptation. It brings together the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German Meteorological Service (DWD) and the Land environment agencies/institutes and is led by the UBA. Many Länder use the federal government’s methodological work already performed as a frame of reference (DAS Monitoring, Guidelines for Climate Impact and Vulnerability Assessments and Guidelines for Evaluations) The Länder can thus benefit from activities undertaken at federal level.
Three fields will become particular priorities for the further strategic development of the DAS: 1. Developing a vision for a climate-resilient Germany in 2060 and defining specific, transparent and verifiable goals for that purpose. 2. Improving appraisals of effectiveness when developing actions to be included in the Adaptation Action Plan. 3. Taking stock of the federal government’s adaptation expenditure, including the anticipated benefits of such expenditure in the various fields, and surveying the damage potential and economic impacts of climate change and adaptation actions in Germany.
The strategy process and implementation of the DAS are evaluated on a regular basis. The first external evaluation was conducted in 2018. The results of the evaluation warrant the conclusion that there should be stronger institutionalisation of climate change adaptation within the ministries and, associated with that, deeper inter-departmental cooperation (horizontal integration). In addition to this requirement for deeper inter-departmental cooperation, the evaluation identified a need for improved cooperation between the federal government and the federal states, with a stronger strategic focus (vertical integration). For climate change adaptation to be embedded within society, governmental and non-governmental actors have a key role to play. It was noted in the evaluation that participatory processes were conducted in the ministries, but are not embedded on a comprehensive and systematic basis in the implementation and further development of the DAS. Success factors during implementation include the availability of previous outcomes, e.g. from a previous project, practical relevance or needs-based orientation of the measures, stakeholder networking, involvement of stakeholders with relevant skills/responsibilities, public acceptance/consensus, availability of resources, and good communication among participants. Reasons for delays in implementation or non-performance were: lack of personnel capacities, poor communication/coordination, and inadequate data. In addition, some measures were postponed or not implemented due to changes in priorities. The analysis of APA II implementation status also shows that climate change adaptation measures must more systematically address those climate impacts where there is a substantial need for action.
Effective climate change preparedness in Germany can only be achieved through concerted action by the federal government, federal states, municipal authorities and civil society groups. The IMAA’s conclusions point to three fields that will become particular priorities for the further strategic development of the DAS in the coming reporting period (2020 – 2025):
- Developing a vision for a climate-resilient Germany in 2060 and defining specific, transparent and verifiable goals for that purpose. The IMAA will work with the federal states to produce this vision with a time horizon extending to 2100. In so doing it will take account of all relevant points in the timetable of the EU Adaptation Strategy. The IMAA will illustrate and characterise the conditions under which the goals set for the various action areas in the vision are achievable.
- Improving appraisals of effectiveness when developing actions to be included in the Adaptation Action Plan. The actions proposed by the federal authority climate adaptation network underpin discussions. The effectiveness of these actions is to be appraised in future, wherever possible. The network’s proposals are based on the urgent climate impacts and requirements for action that arise from the climate impact and vulnerability analysis, and on criteria-based individual assessments. The IMAA will seek agreement on a procedure.
- Taking stock of the federal government’s adaptation expenditure, including the anticipated benefits of such expenditure in the various fields, and surveying the damage potential and economic impacts of climate change and adaptation actions in Germany. The Federal Environment Agency will assist the IMAA in developing the methodology for such stock-taking exercises and the federal authority climate adaptation network will be involved.

The three policy priorities set out above will be pursued within the framework of the concrete policy instruments available to the federal government to reduce Germany’s vulnerability to climate change. These are reflected for the coming five years in the third Adaptation Action Plan (Aktionsplan Anpassung – APA III). With more than 180 further measures, the Federal Government wants to make Germany climate-proof against risks from floods and low water levels or disrupted infrastructures, impairments to agriculture, health hazards, security risks in the economy and challenges in civil protection.

APA III activities are grouped in clusters: “Water”, “Infrastructure”, “Land”, “Health”, “Economy” and “Spatial Planning and Civil Protection”. Activities that cut across action areas, such as the provision of data and information services, or adaptation financing, are grouped in the “Cross-cutting” cluster. The following Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures briefly profile key actions in each cluster.

Selection of actions and (programmes of) measures

Description
The adaptation agenda for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture was adopted in April 2019 by the conference of agriculture ministers. A programme comprise both actions serving as immediate responses to acute extreme weather events, and actions for long-term adaptation of farming and forestry to changing weather patterns. Five fields of action have been defined: plant production (specialty crops and arable crops), forests, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, and overarching issues.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
Increasingly frequent heatwaves cause rising indoor temperatures in buildings. In the context of funding programmes climate resilience aspects in construction (new-build and the building stock) will be integrated. In the context of funding programmes this can help to recognise major hazard potential early on and minimise damage events substantially. The tools envisaged include assessment guidance and regional safe load tables.
Status
studies ongoing
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
To ensure the safety of technical and industrial facilities during extreme events, APA III provides for review by the Commission on Process Safety (KAS) of the Technical Rules on Plant Safety 310 (Precipitation and floods) and 320 (Wind, snow and ice loads), including requirements for updates to reflect recent findings on climate change.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy
Description
To handle heatwaves better, it is essential to study the effects of mechanisms adopted and to use the findings to develop further actions. To this end a survey, analysis and evaluation of existing heat action plans will be carried out.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
The BMVI network of experts has been established as a cross-modal format of departmental research, encompassing seven research facilities and executive agencies of the BMVI. The vision is to make the transport system resilient and environmentally sustainable through cross-authority knowledge and technology transfer. Topic 1 aims at determining the vulnerability of traffic and transport infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather events, and at developing possible adaptations.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Existing technical rules and standards need to take systematic account of climate change impacts. An action on climate-proofing existing rules and technical standards comprises specific depart-mental research, active involvement in relevant bodies, integration in statutory provisions, and consideration in federal government tendering procedures. Furthermore, the need for and practicability of steps to integrate climate change adaptation in technical laws is to be examined.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Extreme events and damage are to be recorded systematically. In order to be in a position to better quantify the extent and frequency of meteorological and hydrological extreme events and the damage and environmental impacts caused by them, Germany shall set up a data-base documenting (past) events, modelled on those already established in other countries.
Status
planned
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
The permanent establishment of the federal authority climate adaptation network mandated by IMAA promotes DAS implementation. The BMVI expert network of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is a research network, which is of particular interest for DAS implementation. The objective is to address urgent transport questions of the future through innovations in the areas of adapting to climate change, environmental protection and risk management.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Numerous activities carried out to implement the measures of the “Green Spaces in the City” white paper contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. One key element is the promotion of urban green space projects, notably within the framework urban development promotion programmes, national-level urban planning projects (federal programme), the National Climate Initiative, the “Measures for adaptation to climate change impacts” funding programme, and pilot projects on climate adaptation and modernisation in urban areas.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Provision of guidelines on how to implement adaptation actions, e.g. for the elaboration of emergency preparedness plans for responding to various kinds of extreme weather events. Sudden weather events in particular can cause hazardous situations affecting the tourism sector and tourists. For instance, in the winter of 2018/19 heavy snowfall trapped holidaymakers in their destinations and accommodations. Local crisis plans should therefore take account of these target groups.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
A further action is “Local climate and environmental models for cities and regions of the future”, a pilot initiative comprised of several components. The first involves development of an urban climate model capable of capturing all relevant urban climate processes. Two further components will lay the groundwork for the next generation of climate information services and will compile and link data on a broad range of local environmental aspects.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Review of existing provisions and applicable state rules on occupational safety and health with regard to heat and UV radiation, for instance, the Technical Rules for Workplaces (ASR). Furthermore, the Ordinance on Preventive Occupational Healthcare will be evaluated with regard to its thresholds for preventive checkups for occupations involving outdoor activities subject to intensive exposure to natural UV radiation.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
The 2020 administrative agreement for urban development promotion programmes 2020 refined and coordinated by the German federal government and Federal States now makes “climate change mitigation or adaptation actions, notably through improving green infrastructure (e.g. urban green spaces)” a mandatory precondition to receiving public funding.
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Within the sphere of competence of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV), concrete steps are under way to integrate the aspect of climate change systematically in planning processes. The WSV climate proofing for example integrates data services, guidelines and training programmes.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Problems arise in terms of water resource shortages, which lead to competition over use of the available resources (for potable water, agricultural irrigation, water storage for fire extinguishing, inland shipping, etc.). To resolve such conflicting uses in future periods of drought, proposals shall be made that concretise human potable water requirements, in order to determine a potential hierarchy of water uses where conflicts arise.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
NHWSP will be carried forward to tackle the growing risks of flood events in a coordinated manner across all federal states. The “Preventive flood protection” special framework plan of the federal/federal states Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection provides federal funding for this purpose, co-financed from federal state resources. The federal government will urge harmonisation of flood hazard maps in the course of their updating.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C1: Physical
Description
A climate impact soil monitoring network is to be set up and established as a long-term scheme. The purpose of this mechanism is to record, monitor and document, throughout the territory of Germany, the current status of soils and the changes resulting from climate change. To this end, the network will ensure simplified access to soil-related measurement data for users in academia and administrations, will coordinate and network the activities of measurement system operators and users, and will integrate diverse levels of measurement intensity.
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological
Description
Creating climate-resilient forests in federally owned stands involves the stable, structurally rich and site-appropriate development of mixed forests. Activities here are guided by state-of-the-art research. Forest Climate Fund (WKF) funding scheme supports actions that serve forest adaptation to climate change and preserve the indispensable contributions that near-natural, structurally rich and species-rich forests make to safeguarding the natural bases of life in the long term.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
The aim is to create opportunities for species and habitat types to persist, and to facilitate geographic adaptation of organisms in the wake of climatic changes, by. One approach here is to optimise the habitats of climate-sensitive and/or endangered species to improve their resilience and adaptive capacity. The Federal Programme for Biological Diversities funding priority of which explicitly makes provision for actions to safeguard capacity to adapt to climate change.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
Many climate change adaptation activities in APA III are nature-based and utilise ecosystem processes. Positive examples of adaptation options through nature-based solutions (NbS) that contribute effectively and sustainably to attaining biodiversity and climate goals, generate synergies between these two and other development goals and rely on natural ecosystems. The predominantly long-term benefits of nature-based solutions, their positive cost-benefit ratio and their contribution to attaining sustainability goals are recognised at many levels.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: green
Description
Through a programme securing the extent of and rewetting bogs and fens, it is envisaged that, initially, individual pilot projects for mire soil conservation are to be carried out with federal fund-ing. In addition, under the Climate Action Plan and with EKF funding, actions are planned to substi-tute peat uses and to establish a mire conservation programme in agriculturally utilised areas.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
The “sponge city” vision shall continue to be pursued in order to improve sustainable rainwater management in cities. In this thematic vein, approaches for decentral irrigation of urban green as precaution against drought will be developed further and a model recommendation formulated. Research projects will explore the requisite types, quantities and qualities of water in order to pre-clude adverse environmental or health impacts.
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: blue
Description
The DAS basic service “Climate & Water” which is currently being gradually set up within the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and its subordinate institutions as a permanent task will provide climatological, oceanographic and hydrological data and advisory inputs for the individual action areas of the German Adaptation Strategy. The service will give decision-makers and planners comprehensive, up-to-date, uniform and quality assured database as well as services for the past as well as climate predictions and projections for the future.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Further development of risk communication on storm-related hazards to the public will improve existing information services, e.g. on heat (here there are links to the health cluster) and heavy rain. Such services will be embedded within comprehensive risk communication strategies. Furthermore, recommendations on cooperation between spontaneous helpers and volunteer responders in extreme weather event situations will be expanded and supplemented with a compilation of examples of good practice.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
A mounting risk of heavy rainfall events causes flood hazards to increase. Municipal authorities have an obligation to take precautions against this. APA III provides for elaboration of a guideline on the preparation of hazard and risk maps for local heavy rainfall events. The guideline should define minimum standards for the production of hazard and risk maps; it builds upon the LAWA strategy for effective heavy rain risk management (see Section B.4). Moreover, the potential of decentral rainwater harvesting in residential areas and industrial zones should be examined. This can help to maintain a natural water regime and avoid having to install larger sewage piping diame-ters that may become necessary in the course of climate change.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The heat exposure associated with such events is currently one of the largest impacts on human health. Particular attention is therefore devoted to this aspect and actions adopted accordingly. These include information for the wider public or for health professionals, and developing outreach to particularly vulnerable groups of the population (e.g. the elderly, people with pre-existing conditions, children).
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
Improve the integration of health and environmental monitoring, integrated surveillance system at federal level to monitor health-related environmental factors and assign them to health impairments. Adjustment and Improvement of Information and early warning systems to match all target groups. Study of pathogenic modes of action of new pollen allergens (e.g. Ambrosia artemisiifolia), Trend analyses of imported vector-borne infectious diseases in Germany.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
With regard to data and information services the KLiVO German Climate Preparedness Portal and the KlimAdapt system of adaptation services will be continued and expanded. KlimAdapt is a module of KLiVO, which assembles, processes and provides products, services and assessments for the identification and implementation of adaptation actions and for the further development of the German Adaptation Strategy (DAS).
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The Blue Compass award scheme, by which the Federal Environment Agency regularly showcases local and regional lighthouse projects for coping with climate change impacts, is to be continued on a permanent basis insofar as budgetary resources allow.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
In many instances, the climatic determinants in the specific fields stated above are still insufficiently researched. A particular need for further research remains in the analysis of the robustness of modelled extremes in terms of their modelability, characteristics and probabilities of occurrence. Among other activities, new research programmes funded by the German Research Ministry (BMBF), such as ClimXtreme and RegIKlim, will deliver initial results over the next years of relevance to the analysis of rare events and refined regional and global climate modelling.
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity building and empowering
Description
To gain a better understanding of the changes in and rapid decline of species diversity, the BMBF launched in 2019 its research initiative for species diversity conservation, which is a FONA light-house initiative. This will substantially advance biodiversity research, pool relevant research activi-ties, and make a sustained contribution to countering the ongoing loss of biological diversity.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E3: Practice and Behaviour


Adaptation to climate change has become increasingly embedded as a task at the level of the Federal States. By the end of 2020 nine Federal States had expanded and consolidated their legal frameworks for climate change adaptation, either in the form of climate legislation or an element thereof, or by including additional provisions on climate change adaptation in other specialised legislation. Adaptation strategies and/or action plans have been adopted or updated by almost all the Federal States. Some Federal states make use of funding programmes that exist at the federal level (such as the Urban Development Support Programme, which was redesigned in 2020, and the BMU’s programme to support measures for adapting to climate change) and EU level (such as the European Social Fund). In some cases, the Federal States supplement these programmes with their own specific funding schemes. In view of the challenges posed by climate change, the need for financial support for adaptation measures has increased within the regions. In order to provide better support for the regions and municipalities, further coordination of the funding programmes existing at EU, federal and Federal States level is required.

Almost all the Federal States carry out or are currently developing indicator-based monitoring of climate change, its impacts and adaptation measures. As with monitoring, wherever possible, the Federal States make use of existing methodological baseline studies conducted at federal level, such as the Guidelines for Climate Impact and Vulnerability Assessments, which were developed with input from the Länder. The Federal States set their own priorities for their analyses and research projects, based on regional needs. Methodological work already performed at federal level can also be used by the Federal States to develop methods for evaluation of adaptation strategies.

The German Climate Preparedness Portal (KLiVO) is a further example of good cooperation between the federal government and the Federal States. This federal government portal collects data and information on climate change and adaptation to its effects. The Federal States were involved in the portal’s conceptual development, provide their own climate adaptation services and participate, for example, in the KlimAdapt network. This cooperation should continue and be expanded in order to build regional actors’ capacities to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
For the Interministerial Working Group for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework (IMAG Sendai), climate change and its impacts are becoming more significant in the context of disaster risk management at the national level. The Federal Republic of Germany is committed to implementing the United Nations’ Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Germany’s National Focal Point for the Sendai Framework was therefore established in April 2017 by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its task is to coordinate the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Germany. The National Focal Point is the main contact for the United Nations on the Sendai process in Germany. It is tasked with ensuring reporting on the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR). It coordinates and supports national implementation of the Sendai Framework in Germany and the related networking, public relations and administrative activities, taking particular account of the principle of coherence that is intrinsic to the Sendai Framework. This means that in both the national and the international context, there is now more linkage between climate change, sustainable development, humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness than before. At the federal level, civil protection is embedded as a cross-cutting issue in the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) adopted by the federal government in 2008 and its 2015 update. Cooperation between the Interministerial Working Group for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and the IMAA is ensured through representation on each other’s committees and intensive dialogue.
Strategic cooperation between the federal government and the Federal States has also intensified in recent years. It ranges from work initiated by the StA AFK itself to tasks that are mainly carried out by other Federation-Federal States bodies with the involvement of the StA AFK. In spring 2017, for example, the Federal/Federal States Ad hoc Working Group on Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate Change in the Health Sector (GAK), led by the Federal Environment Ministry and Federal Ministry of Health, published “Recommendations for Action: Heat Action Plans to Protect Human Health”. These recommendations are aimed at the local authorities and are intended to serve as a basis for drawing up regional heat action plans. The objective of a heat action plan is to avoid heat- and UV-related illnesses and deaths by preventing exposure. The Ad Hoc Working Group is now established on a permanent basis to facilitate inter-agency dialogue on human health under climate change.

As a further example of more intensive cooperation between the federal and Federal States levels, joint approaches are agreed wherever possible in order to improve the response to the challenges posed by future climate hazards, such as faster sea-level rise. More vertical (Federation-Federal States-municipalities) and horizontal (cross-sectoral) policy integration are extremely important. For example, adaptation-relevant bodies of the Conferences of Ministers of the Federation and the Federal States are being integrated more systematically into the work of the StA AFK. Increased coordination of strategic objectives across the federal and Land levels offers potential to intensify climate change adaptation in Germany in future.

One opportunity for more “joined-up” cooperation across the federal and Federal States levels is the permanent establishment of climate change adaptation as a topic for the bodies of the Conferences of Ministers of the Federal States. For example, following a decision by the Conference of Environment Ministers (UMK) at its 90th session, a permanent committee on climate change was established by the German Working Group on Water Issues of the Federal States and the Federal Government (LAWA). The committee (LAWA-AK) examines the impacts of climate change on the water sector and identifies and prioritises needs for action. This includes identifying conflicts of interest between the water sector, agriculture and forestry against the background of climate change, with the aim of developing possible solutions. The LAWA-AK is intended to complement the work of the StA AFK and support the further development of the German Adaptation Strategy. The Climate Indicators Sub-Group (Kleingruppe Klimaindikatoren) set up by LAWA-AK is currently developing a concept for climate impact monitoring in the water sector, which will be coordinated with work being carried out at federal level. In the medium term, this will enable coherent climate impact monitoring to be developed for the water sector, coordinated across the federal and Federal States levels. The Climate Indicators Sub-Group has developed six application-ready DAS indicators; four are based on data from the Länder, covering the whole of Germany. All six indicators were integrated into the 2019 DAS Monitoring Report.
In addition to the federal and municipal activities described above, public- and private-sector companies, research and education institutions and societies, associations and foundations across Germany make a significant contribution to building capacity for adaptation to climate change. For example, regional chambers of industry and commerce, chambers of crafts and chambers of agriculture offer their members training and awareness-raising on dealing with the impacts of climate change. Support in responding to specific extreme weather events is also a focus of some associations’ work. For example, the German Association of Local Utilities (VKU) provides advice for its members on how to cope with heavy rainfall, offering a range of training, qualification and process management services.

Adaptation to climate change impacts is increasingly being considered in the context of standardisation as well. The German Institute for Standardization (DIN e. V.) develops standards for managing the impacts of climate change and shares German expertise in international standard-setting bodies. For example, ISO 14090:2019-06 is an international standard which sets out principles, requirements and guidelines to help organisations adapt to climate change. This standard was developed with substantial support from Germany and was published as a European and national standard in early 2020 (DIN EN ISO 14090:2020-02). Another international standard, ISO 14091, is currently being developed; it provides guidelines for assessing the risks related to the potential impacts of climate change. This standard draws substantially on experience with the German government’s Vulnerability Analysis. It was published as an international, European and national standard (DIN EN ISO 14091) in late 2020.

The DIN e.V. also supports the integration of aspects of climate change into existing national and European standards, e.g. by developing practical guidance and support for standardisation bodies. For example, CEN-CENELEC Guide 32 (“Addressing climate change adaptation in standards”) and DIN SPEC 35220 (“Adaptation to climate change – Projections on climate change and ways for handling uncertainties”). The Institute’s environmental protection coordination unit offers support with the systematic assessment of relevant standards and projects. A current example of an adapted standard is VDI 3787 issued by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) on urban and regional planning and building.

The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) regularly recognises highly innovative adaptation projects implemented by businesses, research institutes and associations through its Blue Compass awards. For more information and details of the 2018 award winners, see: www.umweltbundesamt.de/blauerkompass. The purpose of this competition is to identify outstanding initiatives and publicise them nationwide in order to demonstrate what climate change adaptation might look like in practice. Within the DAS framework, it is an important communication tool for promoting self-provision in relation to climate risks.
The German Adaptation Strategy’s monitoring system ensures that, in all the DAS fields of action, the impacts of climate change and adaptations to it are kept under continuous review. The second DAS Monitoring Report was published by the Interministerial Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change in November 2019. The DAS monitoring indicators draw on measured data series and summarise developments at national level. In order to make the selection, cause-and-effect relationships and their contribution to the adaptation process were discussed and evaluated with experts. During preparations for the updating, the technical principles on which the DAS monitoring system is based were reviewed, new findings were incorporated and the DAS monitoring system was continuously developed. The issues described are ones for which scientific findings indicate that changes – identified by the selected indicators – are to be expected in the course of climate change or for which the described measures strengthen the adaptation process. DAS monitoring focuses on systematic observation of climate impacts and adaptation, on the basis of statistically well-founded time series. The first evaluation of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) followed a methodology for the technical evaluation of the German Adaptation Strategy, approved by the Interministerial Working Group for Adaptation (IMAA). With it, the aim is to evaluate updates of the DAS on a continual basis in the future. In the long term the aim is to examine whether the measures and instruments in the DAS are suitable for achieving the following DAS goal: “the reduction of the vulnerability and the maintenance and improvement of the adaptability of natural, societal and economic systems to the unavoidable impacts of global climate change“. In particular, the aim of the first evaluation has been to gain insights for the further development and optimisation of the DAS process. The basis for this was an impact model, from which five central evaluation questions were derived. To collect the data required, a multi-methods approach was used, consisting of a document analysis, five series of interviews, a survey on the implementation status of Adaptation Action Plan II (APA II), and the analysis of indicators of the DAS Monitoring. In order also to examine the insights gained and the recommendations derived from them for the further development of the DAS process, a Delphi survey was conducted at the end involving the protagonists who were central to the policy process.
In order to underpin this strategy with concrete measures, the German government adopted Adaptation Action Plan I (APA I) in 2011, APA II in 2015, APA III was adopted together with the second Progress Report in 2020. APA II implementation status, as reported here, was surveyed during the DAS evaluation. To collect the data required, a multi-methods approach was used, a survey on the implementation status of APA II and the analysis of indicators. In terms of procedure, this was performed using the APA status tool, additional information on success factors and obstacles was collected in interviews with persons responsible for APA II measures. In order also to examine the insights gained and the recommendations derived from them for the further development of the DAS process, a Delphi survey was conducted at the end involving the protagonists who were central to the policy process.
The following provides a summary of the implementation status of the measures and instruments described in APA II. Three quarters of the 147 measures described in APA II have already been or are currently being implemented. APA II implementation status, as reported here, was surveyed during the DAS evaluation. A quarter of the measures are in preparation or their implementation has not yet started. In the survey conducted within the evaluation framework, a third of the measures were described as still under way. Slightly less than a quarter of the measures were described as permanent tasks; this reflects the transition, with APA II and the 2015 DAS Progress Report, from project-based, limited-term measures to longer-term embedded tasks. Success factors during implementation, according to the survey conducted within the evaluation framework, include the availability of previous outcomes, e.g. from a previous project, practical relevance or needs-based orientation of the measures, stakeholder networking, involvement of stakeholders with relevant skills/responsibilities, public acceptance/consensus, availability of resources, and good communication among participants. Reasons for delays in implementation or non-performance were: lack of personnel capacities, poor communication/coordination, and inadequate data. In addition, some measures were postponed or not implemented due to changes in priorities. The analysis of APA II implementation status also shows that climate change adaptation measures must more systematically address those climate impacts where there is a substantial need for action. So far, there has not been much evidence on the actual impacts of the measures of APA II. An impact is only reported for 15 measures (10 per cent) of APA II in the APA status tool survey. The essential cause of this is sure to be that many of the activities of the DAS process at federal level are rather more of a preparatory nature (e.g. research, investigation assignments), or aim to modify framework conditions. Accordingly, a corresponding hypothesis was also confirmed in the Delphi survey. However, it must also be said that an impact assessment has so far only been carried out for four measures, whilst one is planned, at least, for 23 measures. These findings, like the results of the Delphi survey, speak in favour of attaching more importance in future to the impact assessment of APA measures, because it is only in this way that it becomes possible to make reliable statements. For four of the 15 measures for which those responsible have observed impacts, it can at least be assumed that there have been impacts with regard to the preventive behaviour of companies and / or citizens. Adequate human and financial resources are vital to preparedness for climate change impacts. Because of the nature of adaptation as a cross-cutting task, there are a large number of funding instruments and financing mechanisms in the various DAS action areas at federal and Federal State level.
To date, though, there has been no synopsis of the funds used directly and indirectly for adaptation. This information is increasingly being requested – e.g. at EU level – as a key element of status reports on adaptation financing. In light of this Germany starts developing a methodology that can be used to depict direct and indirect expenditure on adaptation, including in cross-sectoral areas. The account of the financial resources expended on adaptation can be supplemented by textual descriptions. The aim is to use standard criteria and a common procedure to identify the financial resources from the federal budget that are already being invested in adaptation and to take an inventory. This inventory of government expenditure will make the extent of the federal government’s numerous climate preparedness activities in the individual action areas more visible than has been the case in the past.
APA II (2015) implementation status, as reported here, was surveyed during the DAS evaluation. In terms of procedure, this was performed using the APA status tool; additional information on success factors and obstacles in implementing climate change adaptation measures was collected in interviews with persons responsible for APA II measures. Three quarters of the 147 measures described in APA II have already been or are currently being implemented. A quarter of the measures are in preparation or their implementation has not yet started. In the survey conducted within the evaluation framework, a third of the measures were described as still under way. Slightly less than a quarter of the measures were described as permanent tasks; this reflects the transition, with APA II and the 2015 DAS Progress Report, from project-based, limited-term measures to longer-term embedded tasks. In relation to the implementation status of APA II measures, the survey that was carried out using the APA status tool also enquired about success factors in the implementation of measures. Information about success factors in implementation was provided for a total of 39 measures. Success factors during implementation, according to the survey conducted within the evaluation framework, include the availability of previous outcomes, e.g. from a previous project, practical relevance or needs-based orientation of the measures, stakeholder networking, involvement of stakeholders with relevant skills/responsibilities, public acceptance/consensus, availability of resources, and good communication among participants. In a total of 29 cases, there were delays in implementing APA II measures or measures were not performed at all. In many instances, the reasons for these delays were stated in the APA status tool. Reasons for delays in implementation or non-performance were: lack of personnel capacities, poor communication/coordination, and inadequate data. In addition, some measures were postponed or not implemented due to changes in priorities. The analysis of APA II implementation status also shows that climate change adaptation measures must more systematically address those climate impacts where there is a substantial need for action. The evaluation report provides a detailed description of which APA II measures and instruments directly and systematically address climate impacts with a substantial need for action, and which do not.
Adaptation to climate change is based on the precautionary principle: the aim is to prevent or minimise damage to people and the environment and build the capacities of state and non-state actors alike to handle the impacts of climate change. The coronavirus pandemic, which we have been experiencing globally since early 2020, is an example of the effects of ambitious precautionary policies. The same urgency and necessity prevail in relation to climate change adaptation as well. The coronavirus pandemic and climate change demonstrate, with increasing clarity, the interconnectedness and vulnerability of all spheres of life and the economy in Germany. It is therefore becoming increasingly important, now and in future, to build resilience to climate impacts and other crises through preparedness over the long term and crisis management in the short term. This enhanced resilience will also contribute to achieving other important objectives that society has set itself, such as global and national sustainable development goals, greenhouse gas neutrality and the halting of biodiversity loss through enhanced protection of nature and the environment. For that reason, it is important to rely on nature-based solutions wherever possible, primarily because they offer great benefits from a precautionary perspective, but also because they safeguard basic, robust health and provisioning services, thus maintaining the functionality of the system as a whole even when individual elements are temporarily unavailable.

The annual air temperature was determined statistically to have risen by 1.5°C between 1881 and 2018 (linear trend). Over the past forty years, there is evidence of a trend towards increasing heat extremes. This corroborates a key finding of the 2015 vulnerability analysis, which identified the increase in heat exposure as the clearest and most pronounced climate signal. The greater frequency of warm and dry years is also having a distinct impact on ecosystems on which humans have little direct effect. The ongoing warming is also resulting in significantly increased water temperatures in lakes and in the North Sea. The data on groundwater levels selected from nationwide statistics indicate that the frequency of months with below-average low groundwater levels has been increasing significantly. During the summer season, the mean runoff drops significantly, indicating a decrease in water availability during the summer. The difficult situation with regard to soil water supply is continuing. The levels of the North Sea and Baltic Sea recorded by the DAS monitoring process in 2019 indicate a rise in sea levels that is in most cases statistically significant. The rise in water levels as a result of storm surges is largely attributable to the rise in sea level. This poses a gradually increasing threat to coastal regions, especially estuaries and low-lying coastal plains.
In the first evaluation it was not easy to answer the question as to the extent to which the DAS has already achieved an enhancement of adaptability and a reduction of vulnerability. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, these are long-term processes because the preparation and implementation of measures from the action plans takes time, as does the development of their impacts. Secondly, many of the measures are research measures whose impacts at societal level only begin to make themselves felt indirectly and in the long term. Thirdly, there have only been impact assessments for a few measures so far. To meet these challenges, an analysis was made of data and evidence relating to the impetus provided by the DAS for adaptation strategies of federal states and municipalities, to information about the impact of APA II measures, and to trends in the six geographical and thematic focuses of the DAS which relate to more than one action area. On this basis, the evaluation team stated that vulnerability has only been reduced and adaptation capacity only enhanced sporadically via the DAS process. It has not yet been possible to bring about any clear changes toward a climate-resilient society. To obtain a broader base for this conclusion, it was incorporated as a hypothesis in the Delphi survey. The result was that a large majority of 14 of the individuals surveyed agreed that this hypothesis was correct. One individual surveyed said that in many areas a change of system and structure was required for adaptation, but that this had not yet come about. Furthermore, developments were difficult to measure because there were too few data. Above and beyond that, the measures carried out thus far were too general and insufficiently concrete. It was remarked that adaptation took time, and that the duration of the DAS process so far as regards major societal changes was still far too short. However, one individual surveyed was of the opinion that in the last ten years awareness of the impacts of climate change in Germany had improved markedly, and that the topic was now taken into consideration in many processes. In spite of that, very little actual change had been brought about.
In the context of further development and continuous optimisation of the adaptation process, the DAS process will be evaluated regularly. In addition to generating in-depth findings about the DAS process and reviewing the implementation of measures, the evaluation seeks to document the achievement of objectives and establish a basis for learning from the process with regard to the implementation of the DAS as a whole or of individual adaptation measures. The key findings and recommendations at strategic and operative level, as formulated by the independent evaluators, are summarised below. The results of the evaluation warrant the conclusion that there should be stronger institutionalisation of climate change adaptation within the ministries and, associated with that, deeper inter-departmental cooperation (horizontal integration). In addition to this requirement the evaluation identified a need for improved cooperation between the federal government and the Federal States, with a stronger strategic focus (vertical integration). The existing cooperation is regarded as good, albeit with scope for expansion. From a federal states perspective, the legal bases for climate change adaptation should be strengthened and financial support from the federal level should be expanded, in order to improve implementation. Climate change adaptation requires clear and specific goals if measures are to be effective. The results of the evaluation show that the federal government should define the objectives of climate change adaptation more precisely in its strategy documents.

For climate change adaptation to be embedded within society, governmental and non-governmental actors have a key role to play. It is therefore recommended, that participation and consultation be expanded in order to mainstream adaptation more broadly within society and give due consideration to social and justice issues in climate change adaptation.

Adaptation measures have the greatest impact if they are focused on areas of greatest need. The evaluation shows that this is not always the case; it therefore recommends establishing direct linkage between 1. substantial need for action; 2. systematic selection of appropriate adaptation measures; and 3. prioritisation of these measures.

The effectiveness of adaptation measures is in some cases directly visible (e.g. impact of blue and green infrastructures in reducing the heat island effect). In others, it takes time to have an effect. In many cases, it is (methodologically) difficult at present to make robust statements about the effectiveness of measures identified in APA II. The evaluation therefore recommends improving the impact assessments of measures and the DAS as a whole. A key element of the DAS is improving self-provision, more should be done to ensure that the DAS funding programme, which is utilised by some municipalities, reaches citizens and companies to a greater extent.
Identifying damage as a result of climate change is a complex issue. Nevertheless, it is particularly important, because the potential for damage resulting from climate impacts can be high. A precautionary damage-reduction approach in areas such as construction or land use is often worthwhile, in both the public and the private sectors. The federal government and the Federal States are therefore addressing this issue. Results are now available from the study “Assessment of risks associated with climate change: Damage potentials and the economic impact of climate change and adaptation measures”, which involved the network of public authorities in damage modelling. In view of the importance of the issue, other studies using various methodological approaches are currently being produced by other stakeholders at federal government and Federal States level; they will provide a clearer picture of the situation as the DAS is updated. The following key areas are used as examples in the study: heavy rain, storm surges, heat-related deaths (heat deaths) and human performance; the impact of adaptation measures is also assessed. The climate impacts that are considered were selected on the basis of the six overarching and spatial priorities of the German government’s 2015 vulnerability analysis and of the climate impacts which can be quantitively measured by existing data and methods. For example, the damage potential of river flooding could not be considered in this study. River flooding is already causing significant damage. The 100-year-return-period flooding of the Elbe in 2002 resulted in damage totalling around 11 billion euros. This figure includes damage to residential buildings, household effects, commercial businesses, infrastructure (municipal, state, other ownership) and agriculture and forestry, plus the costs of preventive measures and civil protection. The modelling performed in the study shows that the selected climate impacts are likely to lead to increasing damage. Detailed information on the methodology and the underlying data and models can be found in the final report of the project (Bubeck et al. 2020). The analysis indicated that these damage potentials could be significantly reduced through suitable preventive measures.
Based on the methodologies agreed in the IMAA, a reporting system has been established for the pro-cess of planning climate change adaptation in Germany. The climate impact and vulnerability analysis (KWVA) identifies which fields of action and regions are particularly at risk from climate change and where there is a need for action. Reference periods are: the present, near future (2031-2060) and distant future (2071-2100). The KWVA was developed for the first time in 2015. A key document on which the need for action in relation to climate change adaptation and the third Adaptation Action Plan (APA III) are based is the German government’s vulnerability analysis. The last vulnerability analysis was published in 2015. It is updated every six years, with each analysis applying to two DAS reporting cycles (see also Section A.2). The next vulnerability analysis will be published in 2021.
Based on the methodologies agreed in the IMAA, a reporting system has been established for the process of planning climate change adaptation in Germany. The process can be divided into four phases based on the adaptation policy cycle:
1. Understand and describe climate change: The Monitoring Report provides an overview of the observed impacts of climate change and the adaptation measures already introduced in Germany. This provides a compact overview of the changes that can already be observed as a result of climate change using measured data. The second Monitoring report was published in November 2019.
2. Identify climate impacts and characterise vulnerabilities: The climate impact and vulnerability analysis (KWVA) identifies which fields of action and regions are particularly at risk from climate change and where there is a need for action. 2015 the first KWVA was published, the next is foreseen for summer 2021.
3. Develop and implement measures: The Adaptation Action Plans (APAs) specify the current and future measures taken at the federal level to adapt to climate change. Among other things, they are based on the scientific findings and results of the KWVA. The APAs underpin the DAS by defining specific activities at the federal level and identify links with other national strategy processes. The APAs describe the measures to be implemented by the ministries within their respective spheres of responsibility. In 2020 APA III was adopted by the federal government.
4. Evaluation – observe, assess and develop adaptation: The strategy process and implementation of the DAS are evaluated on a regular basis. The first external evaluation was conducted in 2018. Evaluation of the DAS is performed in accordance with a methodology approved by the IMAA. The results of the evaluation were published as a scientific report in November 2019 and also underwent a review by the ministries; details of this review are included in the second Progress Report of the DAS, which was published in November 2020. The Progress Reports set out practical steps for the further development and implementation of the German Adaptation Strategy. The present report continues the process of outlining the framework for action on climate change adaptation in Germany.
Responsibility for implementing measures in the field of adaptation to climate change does not lie solely with the federal government; the federal states and municipalities, the general public and businesses must also play their part in this task, which is for the whole of society. Active participation of all actors is necessary in order to address the appropriate (responsible) level in a particular case and enable it to identify the risks arising from climate change, assess their impact and take action where necessary. In the context of the DAS process, the IMAA persistently seeks the participation of stakeholders on a broad basis. Via discursive participation procedures and dialogue formats it will involve other stakeholder groups even more closely in order to align the federal government’s activities with their needs and to trial and demonstrate examples of good practice at regional and local level.

An important aspect of adaptation is effective strengthening of private provision by citizens and businesses in areas outside the responsibility of the state. Private actors must therefore be informed about possible risks and enabled to take steps towards adaptation themselves. Many strategies and measures for adapting to climate change that lie within the decision-making scope of private households and businesses and are also in their own interest can usefully supplement – but not replace – state action to reduce the risks that arise from the impacts of climate change.

The IMAA will expand their activities in the field of press and awareness-raising work. In addition, the Federal Environment Agency provides instruments that can be employed to systematically assess and review the effectiveness of the participation procedures and formats used.

Another factor determining the success is the involvement of decision-makers and multipliers in areas such as public administration, agriculture and forestry, the fire service, associations and the private sector who frequently have to deal with climate change impacts. As a key basis for the implementation of adaptation measures, the IMAA will accord high priority to the communication of knowledge and appropriate training schemes for decision-makers. Regional events, competitions and sponsorship schemes that enable municipalities to offer mutual advice and support can create a targeted means of address and additional incentives for the municipalities.

The IMAA will review the permanent funding of the German Climate Preparedness Portal (KliVO) to the end of 2022 and work closely with the subordinate agencies on adding to the content of KliVO.

Another communication instrument is the Blue Compass competition, which grants awards to outstanding climate adaptation projects, thus highlighting and upscaling concrete solutions. The IMAA aims to continue the competition on a two-yearly cycle.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported
Various multilateral frameworks established by the United Nations are also relevant to climate change adaptation. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both adopted in 2015, underline the importance of climate change adaptation. For the Interministerial Working Group for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework (IMAG Sendai), climate change and its impacts are becoming more significant in the context of disaster risk management at the national level. Germany’s National Focal Point for the Sendai Framework was established in April 2017 by the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), the Federal Foreign Office (AA) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its task is to coordinate the implementation of the Sendai Framework in Germany. In both the national and the international context, there is now more linkage between climate change, sustainable development, humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness than before. At the federal level, civil protection is embedded as a cross-cutting issue in the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS). Cooperation between the Interministerial Working Group for the Implementation of the Sendai Framework and the IMAA is ensured through representation on each other’s committees and intensive dialogue.
In Germany, policy-making on climate change adaptation is embedded in strategic processes dealing with this topic at the European and international levels. Germany contributes actively to the work being undertaken at both levels and is represented in various bodies and institutions.

Adaptation to climate change is a prominent topic on the European agenda. In its Communication on the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted a new, more ambitious EU strategy on adaptation to climate change in February 2021. The European Climate Law not only addresses the topic of climate change mitigation but also deals with adaptation. The Paris Agreement adopted in December 2015 is the first agreement that is universal and binding in international law and thus marks a turning point in international climate and development policy. It sets out commitments for all 197 states and has been ratified in the meantime by 187 parties (as of January 2020). Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels. Upon the agreement’s entry into force climate change adaptation gained, for the first time, the same political weight as greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The state parties have committed to building adaptive capacities, boosting resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change. Furthermore, financial flows are to be redirected in support of transitions towards low-carbon and climate-resilient development. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) updated and submitted every five years are pivotal to attainment of these long-term goals.

However, the poorest and most vulnerable states in particular often lack resources and capacities to avert and buffer the damage caused by climate change impacts such as more frequent or intensive extreme weather events (e.g. heavy rain, tropical storms, flooding, drought, periods of extreme heat) and gradual climate-related changes (such as sea-level rise, salination, altered precipitation and temperature patterns, rising water temperatures, ocean acidification) and their consequences. To meet its international responsibility, Germany therefore assists developing and newly industrialising countries within the scope of its development cooperation activities. It also provides assistance through the International Climate Initiative (ICI) and through financial contributions to the Adaptation Fund, the Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF), the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), the Strategic Climate Fund (SCF) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), all of which support adaptation actions in developing countries.
Germany’s commitments contribute to fulfilment of international climate finance pledges: Germany will double its international climate financing from public resources to EUR 4 billion by 2020 from a 2014 baseline. In 2018 the federal government pledged some EUR 1.54 billion for adaptation actions, this being 46% of the total EUR 3.36 billion budgetary resources (including grant elements of KfW development loans); of this, more than 80% comes from the budget of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Until a new post-2025 international climate financing goal is agreed, ongoing activities must build upon the pledges already made. This is why the BMZ plays a pivotal role in the implementation of adaptation actions. Other ministries also contribute to climate adaptation in and for partner countries, notably the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) via the International Climate Initiative (ICI), and to a lesser extent the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Foreign Office (AA), The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

Up to now Germany has directed the bulk of its assistance to adaptation in the water, agriculture and natural resource management (incl. forests and coasts/oceans) sectors. However, the priorities of cooperation with partner countries also include disaster preparedness, climate risk insurance and finance, and ecosystem-based adaptation. Germany advances the adaptation agenda through multilateral partnerships and initiatives, linking implementation closely to the 2030 Agenda. This includes the founding of and support for the NAP Global Network, which assists partner countries in developing and implementing their National Adaptation Plans (NAPs); the founding of and support for the NDC Partnership, which helps its member countries raise the level of ambition of their NDCs and integrate climate and development goals; support for the InsuResilience Global Partnership for climate and disaster risk finance and insurance solutions launched in 2017 by the BMZ together with G20 and V20 partners; and the Global Initiative on Disaster Risk Management (GIDRM) set up to boost resilience to climate-induced disaster risks. Furthermore, Federal Chancellor Dr Merkel is acting as patron and Development Minister Dr Müller as commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) launched in 2018 to embed adaptation issues more firmly in the international agenda. Based on the GCA report “Adapt Now – A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience” (https://gca.org/globale-commission-on-adaptation/report), concrete measures are being carried out globally since late September 2019 in the Year of Action in eight action areas.

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

WR I 1-A
Lead management adaptation policy
[Disclaimer]
The information presented in these pages is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and updates by the EEA member countries. However, for those pages where the information is last updated before 01/01/2021, the information presented is based on the reporting according to 'Regulation (EU) No 525/2013 on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions and for reporting other information relevant to climate change' and updates by the EEA member countries.'