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Information on national adaptation actions reported under the Governance Regulation

Reporting updated until: 2023-04-26

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 2022 was determined statistically to have risen by 1.7 °C. A comparison of the climate reference period (1961–1990) with the actual reference period (1991–2020) confirms that the air temperature mean in Germany rose from 8.2 °C to 9.2 °C. This change has gone hand in hand with a fall in the number of freezing and ice days and a rise in the number of summer and hot 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, 2015, 2022 and 2019. 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 7.3 %. 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.

Biogeophysical characteristics: https://www.dwd.de/[…]/report.html (30 MB, Upload not possible)

Demographic Situation: https://www.destatis.de/[…]/datenreport-2021.pdf?__blob=publicationFile (29 MB, Upload not possible)
According to the latest population census, about 83.2 million people lived in Germany at the end of 2020. Of that number, 49.3% were male, and 50.7 % were female. As a result, Germany’s population size remained virtually unchanged with respect to 2019. Some 67.0 million persons (81%) lived in the former territory of the Federal Republic (former West Germany), while 12.5 million (15 %) lived in the new German Länder and 3.7 million (4.4%) lived in Berlin.

From the end of 1990, the year of German reunification, through the end of 2002, Germa-ny's population increased from 79.8 million to 82.5 million (+2.8 million). Then, the popula-tion declined until the year 2010. In 2011, the population began increasing again. Pro-nounced population growth occurred in the years 2014 through 2016, as a result of high levels of immigration. During this period, the largest number of immigrants (+978,000 per-sons) was registered in 2015. Population growth remained robust in the years 2017 and 2018 (2017: +271,000; 2018: + 227,000 persons). It was somewhat lower in 2019 (+147,500). From 2019 to 2020, Germany’s population remained nearly unchanged (- 12,000). Overall, Germany's population grew by 2.4 million persons (+3.0%) in the years 2014 through 2020. In 2020, the population density for Germany as a whole was 232.5 in-habitants per km².

According to the main variants of the 14th coordinated population projection, which was carried out in 2019, Germany’s population will continue to grow until at least 2024, and it will begin to decrease by no later than 2040.

Germany’s demographic trends differ sharply by region. For one thing, population growth between 2014 and 2019 was concentrated in cities: In 2014, a total of 55.8 million people lived in communities with fewer than 100,000 inhabitants. By the end of 2019, the total population of such communities had grown by 1.8 %, or by 1.0 million people. During the same period, the total population of cities with 100,000 or more inhabitants grew by 3.7 %, to 26.3 million (+ 1.0 million). In addition, the differing trends seen in the eastern and west-ern parts of Germany continued after German reunification. For example, the population in the territory of former West Germany grew continuously (except in the years 2006 through 2009), by a total of 8.8% (5.4 million persons).

In 2020, young people under the age of 20 accounted for an 18 % share of Germany’s population. The population of working age (in the present context: 20 through 64 years of age) accounted for 60 % of the total population, and the senior population (65 years of age and older) accounted for 22 %. About 7 % of the population were elderly – i.e., 80 years of age or older.

According to the current 2017/ 2019 mortality table, the life expectancy of male newborns was 78.6 years and that of female newborns was 83.4 years. In addition, the life expectan-cies for older people have increased sharply.
In Germany, industry (defined as manufacturing industry) is a key basis for growth, prosperity and jobs. In 2022, it accounted for about 710 billion euro of gross value added and some 7,5 million employed persons. Industry is the central basis of Germany’s export strength. Germany is one of the world's leading suppliers in industrial sectors, such as the automotive industry, machinery and plant engineering and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Germany’s industrial structure is dominated by products of the automotive, machinery, electrical, chemical, pharmaceutical, metal-producing and metal-processing industry and of the food industry, which accounts for 80 % of its gross value added and of its employment. Numerous other industrial sectors each contribute 5 % or less to gross value added. In the face of global challenges such as climate change, scarcity of resources, digitalisation of the economy and society, and demographic change, German industry has to be able to change and adapt. At the same time, such challenges hold great opportunities for German industry. This is because many of the impacts and secondary effects of such challenges can only be addressed in cooperation with industry. With its capacities, resources and ability to innovate, industry can play a key role in successful efforts to address the great challenges of our time.

The economic situation in Germany in Winter 2022/23 is characterised by persistently high inflation, related losses of purchasing power and reluctance in private consumption and investment. A noticeable economic slowdown is expected in the winter half-year 2022/23, but not a broad-based profound downturn. The industrial sector has managed to cut its gas consumption significantly since the beginning of Russian war of aggression against the Ukraine and the German economy became almost entirely independent of direct Russian importsenergy. A large proportion of these savings are due to high energy prices and improved efficiency, since economic output is holding up comparatively well. The rate of inflation remained comparatively high in February 2023 at 8.7 percent. The core inflation rate (excluding food and energy) rose to +5.7 percent as the rise in energy prices passes more and more to other goods and services. However, thanks to the German government's energy prices brakes and easing world market prices for energy, the inflation rate will slow over the course of the year.

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 change. For example heat, frost events, droughts, storms, sea level rise or water levels of rivers impact in different ways the various modes of transport.

Situation on building industry

Climate change impacts the built environment. Germany has relatively high building standards, but extreme weather events such as wind storms or floods show quite plainly how susceptible the buildings can be in all its manifestations. Changing precipitation and temperatures, sea level rise, storms and other extreme weather events can seriously damage buildings and infrastructures in certain regions. Heat will also affect the urban and indoorurban climate.

Situation on industry and commerce

The impact of climate hazards 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 depend on the spatial situation and condition of facilities and infrastructures as well as the water and energy demand of companies.

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 play an important role here, for example energy supply is more resilient in regard to drought when produced by renewable energy than by thermal power plants. In particular, conglomerations are affected by climate change because of their energy demand.
The Deutscher Wetterdienst monitors weather and climate in Germany from numerous locations and has been doing so in some places for more than 140 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 nationwide. 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 back 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.

Germany also coordinates the WMO Regionals Association Europe (RA VI) Regional Climate Centre (RCC) Network, and leads its Node on Climate Monitoring (Node-CM), thus providing climate information beyond German borders.

The report provides information about any Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) that are being observed by German institutions, including all ocean ECVs. In Germany, for example, the variables pollen and plant phenology have been identified to play such a nationally specific role. In addition, Germany operates several global data centres for ECVs.
Climate modelling, projections and scenarios

Global climate models are used to asses the development of the climate in the coming years, decades and centuries. The spatial resolution of these global climate models is still very coarse, in order to complete the necessary climate simulation within an acceptable computation time for many decades. Although these models sufficiently describe the large-scale variability of the climate, the resolution is not sufficient to determine the regional differences of climate change in a specific region of the world (e.g., Germany) in detail.

Therefore, methods are used to obtain a higher spatial resolution, which include regional climate models or statistical methods, driven by global simulations.

To simulate the climate several decades ahead, scenarios are used that consider the socio-economic development of the world and the associated greenhouse gas emissions. The climate simulations up to the end of the century, for example, are then referred to as climate projections.

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 model simulations which are analyzed for Germany are a climate change mitigation scenario (RCP 2.6), a moderate scenario (RCP 4.5) and a high emission 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 high emission 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 the high emission scenarios.

The Sixth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) uses a further development of the scenarios (Shared Socioeconomic Pathways – SSPS) that lead to the difrerent RCP pathways. Evaluation of global climate change in the report is based on global climate projections based on the SSPs. Regional climate simulations for these recent climate projections, however, are currently being calculated and are not yet available for evaluations for Germay. Thus, only simulations with a horizontal grid mesh of 12.5 km based on the penultimate cycle of climate projections with the RCP scenarios are currently available for Germany.

The results of 44 climate projections covering all of the above listed emission scenarios for the 1971-2100 period are used. Two 30-year periods are used to calculate the difference between the current state and a future state of the climate. The 1971-2000 period of the model runs is used as the reference period to calculate climate change signals in future periods. Two periods, referred as the short-term and long-term planning horizon, are analysed for the future. The short-term planning horizon describes the situation for the 2031-2060 period. The basis for the long-term planning horizon is the 2071-2100 period.

The climate trends calculated with different climate models differ slightly. The resulting ranges of climate change signals uncover uncertainties that must be considered when interpreting ensembles of climate projections. Broader ranges require more cautious statements. In particular, the entire range of the climate projections ensemble must be used to describe the change signals (lowest and highest change values form the ensemble in each RCP scenario).
The Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021 (KWRA), commissioned by the German government, is part of the German Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change (DAS). Its methodology is based on climate impact chains and ISO 14091. The results serve as a basis for improvement and development of future adaptation measures. Thus, KWRA supports the formulation of concrete adaptation measures in the next Adaptation Action Plan (APA IV, planned for 2024). It is a systematic, cross-sectoral analysis and assessment of climate change impacts and answers the following questions:
1. How will climate change affect the environment, our livelihoods, health, daily lives, and economy?
2. Where can we reduce the risks of climate change through adaptation?
3. What areas require urgent action?

The KWRA identifies urgent needs for action by identifying high climate risks and analysing the adaptive capacity and time required for adaptation. Together with 180 experts from 25 federal agencies and other institutions, a scientific consortium analysed 102 climate impacts in 13 action areas. Based on this, each climate risk was assessed in relation to the present, the two future periods of mid-century (2031-2060) and end of the century (2071-2100). The study is based on climate projection data from the German Meteorological Service. These data are based on modeling of different greenhouse gas concentration scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). KWRA used projections from the RCP8.5 climate scenario, the scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change scenario with the highest greenhouse gas concentrations. It uses the range of the RCP 8.5 projection ensemble to include a pessimistic case of stronger climate change (generally the 85th percentile) and a more optimistic case of weaker climate change (generally the 15th percentile). The project also analysed interactions between individual climate impacts and vulnerable systems and identified cascading effects.
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Observed climate hazards
WaterAcuteDrought
Flood
Heavy precipitation
Snow and ice load
ChronicChanging precipitation patterns and types
Ocean acidification
Precipitation hydrological variability
Saline intrusion
Sea level rise
Water scarcity
Solid massAcuteAvalanche
Landslide
Subsidence
ChronicCoastal_erosion
Soil erosion
Sol degradation
Solifluction
TemperatureAcuteCold wave frost
Heat wave
Wildfire
ChronicChanging temperature
Temperature variability
WindAcuteStorm
Tornado
ChronicChanging wind patterns
Hazard type Acute/Chronic Future climate hazards Qualitative trend
WaterAcuteDroughtsignificantly increasing
Floodsignificantly increasing
Heavy precipitationsignificantly increasing
Snow and ice loadevolution uncertain or unknown
ChronicChanging precipitation patterns and typesevolution uncertain or unknown
Ocean acidificationsignificantly increasing
Precipitation hydrological variabilityevolution uncertain or unknown
Saline intrusionsignificantly increasing
Sea level risesignificantly increasing
Water scarcitysignificantly increasing
Solid massAcuteAvalanche Futurewithout significant change
Landslide Futuresignificantly increasing
Subsidence Futuresignificantly increasing
ChronicCoastal erosionsignificantly increasing
Soil erosionsignificantly increasing
Sol degradationsignificantly increasing
Solifluctionsignificantly increasing
TemperatureAcuteCold wave frostsignificantly decreasing
Heat wavesignificantly increasing
Wildfiresignificantly increasing
ChronicChanging temperaturesignificantly increasing
Temperature variabilitysignificantly increasing
WindAcuteCycloneevolution uncertain or unknown
Stormevolution uncertain or unknown
Tornadoevolution uncertain or unknown
ChronicChanging wind patternsevolution uncertain or unknown
The annual air temperature as an aggregated mean for Germany between 1881 and 2022 was determined statistically to have risen by 1.7 °C. The years 2018 and 2022 were the warmest years in Germany since meteorological records in this country began. In the course of past decades, there is evidence for a trend towards extreme weather events marked by increasing heat extremes. Since the 1950s the average number of days per year on which the highest measured temperature amounted to 30 °C has risen from about three to an average of ten. Between 2017 and 2021, 22,400 more people died in Germany as a result of heat waves. Rising temperatures also a?ect natural systems. As a result, the duration of the growing period has increased. A comparison shows that e.g. characteristic development phases of wild plants in spring, summer or early autumn, begin earlier, and typical development phases at the height of autumn, in late autumn and winter begin later than before. Changes in seasonal weather phases can have both positive and negative e?ects on agriculture. An earlier onset of apple blossom, for example, signi?es a greater risk of late frost damage which can result in crop shortfalls or failures. Likewise, in ecosystems hardly a?ected by management activities, the greater frequency of warm and dry years demonstrates a distinct impact. For example, the proportion of beech compared to species that are better adapted to drought in warm-dry natural forest reserves has decreased. Any impacts from increasing warming are also noticeable in signi?cantly increased water temperatures in lakes and in the North Sea. Even if the annual mean temperatures rise continuously, impacts on ecosystems from long, cold winters will remain active. This is illustrated by the development of birdspecies communities. Since 1990 the composition of bird species communities has shifted in favour of thermophilic species. In the years 2009/10 to 2012/13 there were a number of hard winters with adverse impacts on the numbers of many breeding birds. These hardwinters particularly a?ected species which had migrated to Germany from more southerly climate zones.

The data of groundwater levels selected from nationwide statistics indicate that, in comparison with the longterm annual mean, the frequency of months with low groundwater levels below average has been increasing signi?cantly. In particular, precipitation de?cits occurring in the course of several consecutive years led to reductions in groundwater levels or reduced spring ?ow. In view of a distinctly dry period, the data for 2018 point to the likelihood of a similar, presumably even more extreme situation arising. The time series beginning in the 1960s for the mean ?ow levels of 80 river areas across Germany indicates distinct ?uctuations between the years. The di?cult situation with regard to soil water supply is continuing. The levels of North Sea and Baltic Sea indicate a predominantly signi?cant rise in sea levels. The increasing intensity of storm surges can be attributed mostly to sea level rise. For coastal regions, especially for estuaries and low-lying coastal areas, this signi?es a gradually increasing threat.

In Germany, heavy rain, flooding and flash floods are becoming more frequent and more intense. The flood disaster in July 2021 caused devastation in Western Europe (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Luxembourg) led to devastating destruction. In Germany, the states of Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Saxony were affected. Over 180 people lost their lives in Germany. Over 800 people were injured, some seriously In North Rhine-Westphalia, almost half of all local authorities, around 20,000 private households, 7,000 companies and self-employed persons were affected. The current estimated damage in North Rhine-Westphalia amounts to 12.3 billion euros. In Rhineland-Palatinate, 65,000 people and about 3,000 businesses were affected by the flood disaster. The Ahr valley was the hardest hit, with about 42,000 people, of whom about 17,000 lost all their belongings or faced considerable damage. 103 bridges were severely damaged or completely destroyed in the Ahr valley alone. According to current estimates, the damage here amounts to more than 18 billion euros. In Bavaria, the damage amounts to 298 million euros, in Saxony 256.1 million euros. Damage to the federal government cannot yet be quantified conclusively. Damage to the federal infrastructure (federal motorways, federal roads, federal railways, federal waterways) is estimated at around 2 billion euros and for the railways at a total of up to 1.3 billion euros.
The Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021 (KWRA) confirms that Germany is affected by climate change throughout the country and that this will intensify in the future. However, the concrete impacts vary spatially. As climate change progresses, the occurrence of extremes is expected to increase, especially in the east and southwest of Germany. Particularly strong climatic changes in relation to today's situation may occur above all in the south and west of Germany and in the mountains. In coastal regions, there will be a greater risk in the future due to accelerated sea-level rise. Water bodies and their surroundings will be more affected by high and low water events. In the event of severe climate change, the high level of impact will extend to the entire federal territory by the end of the century.

For 102 climate impacts and 13 fields of action of the DAS, experts from the participating German authorities assessed the level of associated climate risks. The KWRA shows that many areas of life are already affected by the consequences of climate change in the present. In the future, climate risks may increase significantly, especially if no mitigation and adaptation measures are taken.

Natural systems and resources (soil, water, species and ecosystems, etc.) are particularly at risk. They are the foundations of many other systems, e.g. fisheries, agriculture, forestry and water management, as well as for many forms of human recreation. In order to prevent negative cascading effects on economic systems and human health and to enable sustainable forms of use, the protection of natural systems and resources is particularly important.

High climate risks are expected, for example, in the case of shifting cultivation regions, the emergence of new pests, damage to ecosystems such as forests and peatlands, or heat stress among people.

Based on the climate risk and the required timeframe for adaptation, 31 climate impacts were identified for which there is a very urgent need for action. They can be assigned to the following four central challenges:
- Risks from heat to health, especially in urban areas near the Rhine and Spree rivers.
- Risks from drought and low water (often associated with heat) for all water-using and water-dependent systems. Rural areas are particularly affected, especially in the dry regions in the east and west-central parts of Germany.
- Risks from heavy rain, flash floods and flooding for infrastructures and buildings, especially along watercourses. Settlements in narrow valleys of the low mountain ranges show a significantly increased risk.
- Risks from gradual temperature and sea level rise for natural and nature-using systems.

Adaptation potentials - What can be done?

The assessment of adaptation potentials showed how much individual risks can be reduced through adaptation. A distinction was made between adopted and more far-reaching adaptation measures, with the former being part of the current federal action planning (APA III). More far-reaching measures go beyond the adopted measures, but are equally applicable under current conditions. Adopted measures can reduce the climate risk, but this - at least in part - only slightly. In the pessimistic case, with strong climate change, more far-reaching measures are therefore necessary to significantly reduce climate risks.

In addition, there are climate risks for which adaptation already reaches its absolute limits in the present and near future and for which high climate risks can only be avoided through climate protection, for example the impacts of climate change on mountain ecosystems.

The results of the KWRA make it clear that
1. many climate risks can be significantly reduced in Germany through adaptation measures, but in the case of strong climate change, climate risks can only be sufficiently mitigated through more far-reaching and sometimes profound measures. Climate protection is the basis for effective adaptation, in some cases even the only way to reduce risks.
2. Climate adaptation takes time. Many high climate risks require an adaptation period of several decades, some even more than 50 years (e.g. forest conversion). To prepare Germany for severe climate change, early action is necessary.
3. The greatest and most urgent need for action relates to natural systems and resources. On the one hand, they are exposed to particularly high climate risks and, on the other hand, they have comparatively little potential for adaptation. For these reasons, sustainable management and a reduction in the pollution of natural systems and resources are the main starting points for adaptation.

Key affected sectors

Key affected sector(s)agriculture and food; other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe 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. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. It is a systematic, cross-sectoral analysis and assessment of the effects of climate change, based on the analysis of climate impact chains and ISO 14091. 25 higher federal authorities and institutions from nine ministries were closely involved in the preparation of the study. Building on this, the network of authorities assessed the respective climate risk in relation to the present, the two future periods of mid-century (2031-2060) and the end of the century (2071-2100). The KWRA considers a pessimistic case (stronger climate change) and an optimistic case (weaker climate change). The study relied on climate projection data from the German Weather Service. These data are based on the modelling of different greenhouse gas-concentration scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs). The KWRA used the projections of the climate scenario RCP8.5, which is the scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that has the highest greenhouse gas concentrations. The project also analysed the interactions between the individual climate impacts and susceptible systems and identified cascading effects.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentAdaptive capacity: In the “agriculture” action field, there are a number of adaptation options. One focus: measures that promote the careful, climate-adapted treatment of the soil. Measures to deal with abiotic stress in crops and other potential yield losses primarily focus on irrigation options and techniques, the choice of varieties and frost protection, but are also aimed at promoting the activity and diversity of soil life, the stability of the soil structure and protection against erosion. In addition, the potential expansion of insurance against extreme weather-related damage is important. More far-reaching adaptation practices should be increasingly applied (diversified crop cultivation systems, crop rotation, land cover). The expansion of organic agriculture can also be understood and used in terms of transformative climate adaptation. Also required are far-reaching changes in the markets and a willingness to change on the demand side. Water-related conflicts of use with the natural balance, industry and drinking water supply can also represent obstacles to adaptation. It is not possible to adequately assess these risks. To a certain extent, the cross-sectional action fields of finance management (insurance) and spatial planning (flood prevention, promotion of soil unsealing, which serves to retain precipitation in the area, which in turn improves groundwater recharge) contribute to increasing the adaptive capacity in agriculture.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentSince the climate impacts “abiotic stress (plants)” and “yield losses” are classified as high risks as early as the middle of the century (in the pessimistic case), and a duration of ten to 50 years is assumed for comprehensive adaptation measures, there are very urgent needs for action here. While the high climate risk in the case of “abiotic stress (plants)” could remain even after the APAIII+ measures have been implemented, the climate risk in the case of “yield losses” could be reduced to medium-high. More extensive adaptation could reduce the risks for both climate impacts to medium (in the pessimistic case).
Key affected sector(s)forestry
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, fourteen indicators with time series are presented in the field of action forestry: Tree species composition in designated forest nature reserves, Endangered spruce stands, Financial support for forest conversion, Incremental growth in timber, Damaged timber – extent of random use, Forest condition, Mortality rate, Conservation of forest-genetic resources, Extent of timber infested by spruce bark beetle, Humus reserves in forest soils, Forest fire risk and forest fires, Forestry information on adaptation, Raw wood use, Timber construction quota. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined in the forestry field of action six selected climate impacts: Heat and drought stress, Pest/disease stress, Damage from windthrow, Forest fire risk, Utilization function timber yield, Utilization function recreation. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacityhigh
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the “forestry” action field, there is a broad spectrum of measures reflected in the APA III. The program of measures “Adaptation of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture to Climate Change” and the funding instrument of the Forest Climate Fund play a key role. In addition, activities in research to deepen the knowledge base are particularly important. Further options relate to raising awareness of land-owners, as well as training and funding of qualified personnel. The conversion towards more climate resiliant forests types is an important factor. An increase in the proportion of non-managed forests to strengthen natural adaptation processes and the conversion of forest operations could be seen as transformative adaptation. Adaptation of forests can face obstacles, because it is very difficult to evaluate long-term measures like forest conversion, both in terms of their duration and their potential for success. Forest conversion is associated with considerable costs for forest operations and forest owners. The cross-sectional action fields make various contributions to improving the adaptive capacity of forestry and forest management. For example, regional plans and landscape structure plans include forest conversion measures, and civil protection risk analyses (e.g. on drought) can contribute to risk perception. The financial sector offers specific insurances, such as storm and forest fire insurance, which offer forest owners protection in the event of damage.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the “forestry” action field, the study analysed and assessed the adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “heat and drought stress”, “stress from pests/diseases”, “forest fire risk” and “utility: timber yield”. The climate risk (in the pessimistic case) for the mentioned climate impacts – with the exception of the “forest fire risk” – could be reduced to “medium-high” both through the APAIII+ measures and through more far reaching adaptation. For the “forest fire risk”, a medium climate risk is assumed for the midcentury period, which could be reduced to “low-medium” through more far reaching adaptation (in the pessimistic case).
Key affected sector(s)marine and fisheries; other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, tree indicators with time series are presented in the field of action fisheries: Distribution of thermophilic marine species, Herring larvae in the Greifswald Bodden, Occurrence of thermophilic species in inland waters. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the fisheries five selected climate impacts were investigated: Decoupling of food relationships in the Baltic sea, Distribution of the thermophilic species in the North Sea, Distribution of fish species in rivers, Pest/disease stress, Damage to aquaculture. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentWhile sea fishing is particularly important in regions near the coast, industrial and recreational fishing in inland areas is widespread. All forms of fishing and aquaculture, as well as fish stocks, are particularly sensitive to the consequences of climate change. If the habitat of fish changes that they can no longer live and reproduce there, and there is no opportunity to move to other areas, the stocks or their usability are threatened. Adaptation options relate to inland and sea fishing as well as to aquaculture operations. To adapt to the high climate risk “decoupling of food relations in the Baltic Sea”, the motivation for and acceptance of measures for sustainable inventory management are extremely important and show clear potential for growth. For sea fishing in general, the intensification of research and monitoring as well as the negotiation and legally binding nature of catch quotas are important. For inland climate adaptation, water engineering measures and renaturation are particularly relevant. Selected measures (APA III) to the distribution of fish species in rivers include, the renaturation of rivers and floodplains and the creation of ecological continuity on federal waterways. Adaptation can reach its limits when water levels become very low or dry out. Aquaculture farms can adapt to ventilation systems, multiple uses of water, digital oxygen supply systems and feeding techniques, shading production facilities and orientation towards new breeding goals.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the “fisheries” action field, the assessment analysed and assessed the adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “decoupling of food relationships in the Baltic Sea” and “distribution of fish species in rivers”. For the climate impact “decoupling of food relations in the Baltic Sea”, only the implementation of more far reaching adaptation could lead to a reduction of the climate risk to “medium-high”. The assessed climate risk of the climate impact “distribution of fish species in rivers” could be reduced to “medium-high” through APAIII+ measures and more far reaching adaptations in the pessimistic case. There is a very urgent need for action for the climate impact “distribution of fish species in rivers”, as it was assessed as having a high climate risk as early as the middle of the century with an assumed adaptation period of up to 50 years for comprehensive measures. There is an urgent need for action for the climate impact “decoupling of food relationships in the Baltic Sea”.
Key affected sector(s)coastal areas
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, nine indicators with time series are presented in the field of action coastal areas: Water temperature in the sea, Sea levels, Intensity of storm surges, Investment in coastal protection, Coastal morphology, backwater into flowing waters, performance of pumping stations/lowland drainage, land protection dikes without safety deficit. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the coastal areas ten selected climate impacts were investigated: Sea temperature and ice cover, Water quality and groundwater salinization, Sea level, Currents and tidal dynamics, Sea state, Storm surges, Natural spatial changes on coasts, Increased stress on or Failure of coastal protection systems, Damage or destruction of settlements and infrastructure on the coast, Overloading of drainage facilities in areas at risk of flooding. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS monitoring and KWRA see Agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentVarious factors influence the consequences of climate change (including characteristics of the coastal sections, topographical and morphological structures, sea topography, exchange of water with other seas, input of substances into the sea, type and condition of the coastal infrastructure, form of land use, settlement structures). Areas with a high population density show higher damage values. Since coastal protection is primarily the responsibility of the coastal federal states, APAIII+ measures relate mainly to legal framework and research funding. The general plans and regulations of the relevant federal states include technical and nature-based coastal protection measures such as building dykes, beach nourishment or building floodplain fields. The use of natural adaptation instruments can help promote dynamic processes in coastal development. More far-reaching adaptation instruments in technical coastal protection, such as the development and implementation of innovative dike concepts. There are factors that can limit adaptation, including land use and other conflicts of interest (agriculture, nature conservation, energy, tourism, industry and shipping). This can also be limited due to a lack of natural resources, for sediment management or heightening or widening the dike. Given the uncertainties about the height of the sea level rise, measures that enable the continuous readjustment of the adaptation pathway appear particularly worthy of recommendation.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the action field “coastal and marine protection”, the assessment analysed and assessed the adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “water quality and groundwater salinization”, “natural spatial changes on coasts” and “overloading of drainage facilities in areas at risk of flooding”. The risk of the climate impact “water quality and groundwater salinization” could be reduced to “medium-high” through the APAIII+ measures and to “medium” (both in the pessimistic case) through more far-reaching adaptation. While the risk of the climatic impact “natural spatial changes on coasts” could remain high through the implementation of the APAIII+ measures, more far-reaching adaptation would reduce this to “medium” (in the pessimistic case). The risk of “overloading the drainage facilities in flood-prone areas” could be reduced to “medium-high” through the APAIII+ measures and even to “low-medium” (in the pessimistic case) through more extensive adaptation.
Key affected sector(s)water management
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentDAS monitoring 2023, twelve indicators with time series presents: Terrestrial stored water masses, groundwater level and spring discharge, mean discharge, floods, peak discharges, low water, water level of lakes, water temperature of lakes, spring algal bloom in lakes, water temperature of streams, water use index, flood protection.The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Water balance, water management action field eleven selected climate impacts were investigated: Low tide, Floods, Overloading or failure of flood protection systems, Flash floods (failure of drainage facilities and flood protection systems), Restrictions on the functionality of sewer networks and receiving waters and sewage treatment plants, Water temperature and ice cover and biological water quality, Chemical water quality, Groundwater level and groundwater quality, Lack of irrigation water, Drinking water, Production water. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS monitoring and KWRA see Agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe pessimistic scenario projects decreasing low water runoff. With regard to the average annual flood discharge, most gauges show increases. Regional differences in the sensitivity to high and low water result from the extent of water management, from the volume that can be stored in dams or controlled lakes and drained off in a targeted manner. For the groundwater level, the removal of water for irrigation is also relevant during periods of drought. The expected increase in ground and surface water temperatures will have negative effects on the ecological status of the waters, especially during periods of drought. The rising water temperature is particularly problematic where the water quality is already in a bad state. The water quality of the lakes will also be affected by rising water temperatures. For heavy rain and local flood events, area characteristics (sealing, land use, drainage options) play a role. The observed climate impacts are closely linked. Adaptation measures for one climate impact can also influence other climate impacts. Due to the mutual dependencies in the use of resources there are diverse interactions, therefore a high level of coordination at federal and state level is required. Important tools for flood and low water management are high-quality predictions of extreme situations that extend as far into the future as possible.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the action field “water balance, water management”, the assessment analysed the adaptive capacity for the climate impacts “damage to or failure of flood protection systems”, “flash floods (failure of drainage facilities and flood protection systems)”, “water temperature, ice cover, biological water quality” and “groundwater level, groundwater quality”. The risk of the climate impact “damage to or failure of flood protection systems” could be reduced to “low-medium” (pessimistic case) through the APAIII+ measures as well as through more far-reaching adaptation. The reason for this optimistic assessment is the extensive preparatory work and specific bundles of measures on the subjects of flood prevention and flood protection. The risk of the climate impacts “flash floods” as well as “water temperature and ice cover and biological water quality” could remain unchanged through the implementation of the APAIII+ measures. However, more far-reaching adaptation could reduce the risk to a medium-high level for the former and a medium level for the latter (pessimistic case). In the pessimistic case, a reduction in the risk of the climate impact “groundwater level and groundwater quality” would not be possible either through the implementation of APAIII+ measures or more far-reaching adaptation. There are very urgent needs for action for the climate impacts “damage to or failure of flood protection systems”, “flash floods (failure of drainage facilities and flood protection systems)”, “water temperature and ice cover and biological water quality” as well as “groundwater level and groundwater quality”, since they were assessed as having a high risk by the middle of the century (in the pessimistic case) and require an adaptation period of several decades. There is an urgent need for action for the climate impacts “lack of irrigation water”, “chemical water quality” and “restrictions on the functionality of sewer networks and receiving waters and sewage treatment plants”.
Key affected sector(s)transport
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, six indicators with time series are presented in the field of action transport: Flood closures on the Rhine, low water restrictions on the Rhine, heavy rain and roads, weather and weather-related road accidents, impairment of roads due to exceptional weather and weather-related events, weather and weather-related disruptions to rail traffic. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Transport action field seven selected climate impacts were investigated: Navigability of inland waterways (low water), Navigability of inland waterways (flooding), Navigability of the sea waterways, Damage / obstacles to roads and railways (flooding), Damage / obstacles to roads and railways (gravitational mass movements), Damage to traffic control systems, overhead lines and power supply systems, Damage to inland and maritime waterways, ports and maritime unfrastructures. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatemedium
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitylow
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent key hazards
AssessmentVarious factors influence the extent to which climate change impacts the modes and means of transport, significant factors include the condition of the respective transport infrastructure, the traffic and transport volume. The sensitivity of the rail and road sections to flooding depends on the height of the tracks or the lanes near the river floods and on the availability and volume of retention and drainage systems (flash floods). The sensitivity to wind throw depends on the vegetation near the route (trees) and their management and infrastructure parameters (overhead lines). The sensitivity of inland navigation to restrictions caused by high and low water is influenced by the characteristics of the river basin (including the management measures installed) and the waterway (depth and width, waterway management, bridge heights). The APA III contains a comparatively large number of measures for the action field “transport, transport infrastructure”. For example, research projects create a good knowledge base in the BMDV Network of Experts with regard to the need for adaptation and selected adaptation measures in the transport sector. With a view to adapting the navigability of inland waterways to low water events, measures to increase flexibility both in river engineering (flexible elements) and in logistics (e.g. simplification of intermodal transport). Spatial planning, regional and urban landuse planning makes a significant contribution to improving the adaptive capacity.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactslow
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe APA III contains a comparatively large number of measures for the action field “transport, transport infrastructure”. For example, research projects such as topic 1 “adapting transport and infrastructure to climate change and extreme weather events” create a good knowledge base in the BMDV Network of Expertswith regard to the diverse climate impacts, the need for adaptation and selected adaptation measures in the transport sector. The “Rhine Low Water Action Plan” contains different measures. This includes the further development of forecast systems. Given the existing uncertainties, as in other action fields, socalled “low-regret” measures are also recommended with regard to possible, more far-reaching adaptation measures. This includes measures to increase flexibility both in river engineering (flexible elements) and in logistics (e.g. simplification of intermodal transport). The assessment analysed and assessed the adaptive capacity of the action field “transport, transport infrastructure” for the climate impact “navigability of inland waterways (low water)”. The participating experts conclude that the many measures in APA III could be sufficient to reduce the climate risk of the climate impact “navigability of inland waterways (low water)” from “high” to “medium”, even in the pessimistic case. A reduction to a climate risk of “low” could be possible through more far-reaching adaptation. The need for action is classified as very urgent for the climate impact “navigability of inland waterways (low water)”, since the climate risk was rated as “high” in the pessimistic case for the middle of the century and many measures could require a significant lead time (up to 50 years). Urgent needs for action arise for the climate impacts “damage/obstacles to roads and railways (flood)”, “damages/obstacles to roads and railways (gravitational mass movements)” and “damage to traffic control systems, overhead lines and power supply systems”.
Key affected sector(s)other
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, six indicators with time series are presented in the field of action soil: Soil water supply in agricultural soils, soil water in forest soils, regenerosivity, temperature in topsoil, humus supply in arable soils, Permanent grassland. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Soil action field ten selected climate impacts were investigated: Soil erosion by water, Wind erosion, Landslides and mudslides, Lack of water in the soil, Leachate, Waterlogging, Soil biology: micro-biological activity / biodiversity / biological fundtionality; Soil balance, Soil function: filter and buffer function, Production function. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn Germany, the areas with the greatest risk of erosion by water are on arable land in southern Germany, such as the Bavarian Tertiary Hills, in the Hallertau, in the Kraichgau and in the Saar-Nahe Hills. Landslides and mudslides occur mainly in low mountain ranges and on the edge of the Alps, but also along steep railway lines and road cuts. In the tertiary hill countries in the foothills of the Alps and in the loamy, sandy, calcareous old moraine landscapes in the south of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the soil is also at risk of becoming waterlogged in autumn. Parts of central Germany as well as all hydromorphic soils, are particularly affected by the decline in the effective water balance during the growing season. The decline in the seepage water rate has its main focus in the eastern federal states, mainly in Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt. The spatial focus of erosion by wind is in northern Germany, where the young moraine soils of Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the East Frisian Geest, the Emsland and western Brandenburg are particularly affected. The sensitivity of the soil to climate change is particularly high when the organic content is low, the diversity of soil organisms is degraded by land use and the soil structure has already been damaged by traffic, erosion or compaction, among other things. Hydromorphous soils, which can be damaged by the expected fluctuations in precipitation, are particularly at risk.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe study assessed the adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “soil erosion by water”, “water shortage in the soil”, “soil erosion by wind” and “production functions”. By implementing the APAIII+ measures, the climate risk could be reduced to “medium-high” for all of the climate impacts mentioned, with the exception of the climate impact “production functions”. Despite more far-reaching adaptation (in the pessimistic case), medium-high climate risks could remain for the climate impacts “soil erosion by water” and “production function”. However, the climate risks “water shortage in the soil” and “soil erosion by wind” could be reduced to a medium level (Table 6). The climate impacts “soil erosion by water”, “water shortage in the soil”, “soil erosion by wind” and “production function” have very urgent needs for action, since they are classified as high risks for the middle of the century (pessimistic case) with an assumed an adaptation period of several decades. Urgent action requirements arise for the climate impact “landslides and mudslides”. There are no adaptation options for the climate impacts “soil biology” and “soil functions: filter and buffer functions”. This means that these medium-risk climate impacts could not be methodologically assigned to the list of urgent action requirements. This shows the limits of adaptation to climate change.
Key affected sector(s)biodiversity (including ecosystembased approaches)
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudelow
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, six indicators with time series are presented in the field of action biodiversity: Phenological changes in wild plant species, temperature index of bird species communities, temperature index of butterfly species communities, reclamation of natural floodplains, consideration of climate change in landscape programmes and landscape framework plans, Area protection. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Biodivcersity action field nine selected climate impacts were investigated: Change in the growing season and phenology, spread of invasive species, loss of genetic biodiversity, shift in areas and decline in numbers, damage to coastal ecosystems, damage to mountain ecosystems, damage to waterbound habitats and wetlands, damage on forests, ecosystems services. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentCoastal, mountain, forest ecosystems, waterbound habitats and wetlands are particularly affected by climate change. Disrupted ecosystems, small habitats, habitats at high altitudes, as well as coastal and tidal rivers are particularly sensitive. The adaptive capacity is largely dependent on the extent to which species colonise new, climatically suitable habitats or can adapt to new conditions in the old habitat. The APA III provides for a large number of adaptation measures for the action field. Most common are measures to expand knowledge through research and monitoring activities. More far-reaching adaptation measures arise, with regard to the connection of areas and biotopes (biotope network, reduction of barriers such as traffic routes, river management and areas used intensively for agriculture and forestry. An increased organic agriculture can contribute to an increasingly biodiversity-focused adaptation. The climate impacts are closely linked and influence one another. They all tend to have a restrictive influence on the possibility of using ecosystem services. Adaptation activities in the fields of “agriculture”, “forestry”, “soil”, “water balance, water management” and “coastal and marine protection” influence the adaptive capacity in “biodiversity”. Possibilities to support the adaptive capacity through strategies of spatial planning, state, regional and urban development planning and through financial activities.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “spread of invasive species”, “loss of genetic diversity”, “relocation of areas and decline in populations”, “damage to waterbound habitats and wetlands” and “damage to forests” was assessed. The climate risks with adaptation can be derived from the assessment of the climate risks without adaptation and the effectiveness of the adaptation options. While the implementation of the APAIII+ measures will probably not change the climate risk of the “spread of invasive species”. The risk “damage to waterbound habitats and wetlands” and “damage to forests” could (only) be reduced to “medium-high”. The climate risk “spread of invasive species” and “damage to forests” could only be reduced to “medium-high” through more far-reaching adaptation. In “damage to waterbound habitats and wetlands”, the experts estimate that the climate risk can be reduced to a medium level through more far-reaching adaptation. Very urgent need for action for “spread of invasive species”, “damage to water-bound habitats and wetlands” and “damage to forests”, as these were already classified as high climate risks for the middle of the century and an adaptation period of several decades is assumed. Urgent need for action for “damage to coastal ecosystems”, “ecosystem services”, “shift in areas and decline in numbers” and “loss of genetic diversity”. No adaptation options are seen in the purely upstream climate impacts at the level of physical changes in natural systems. Purely upstream climate impacts were only assessed with regard to the climate risk without adaptation. In the case of the climate impacts “damage to mountain ecosystems” and “change in the length of the vegetation period and phenology”, a high risk is attested, but no options for action are seen. This means that these highrisk climate impacts could not be methodologically assigned to the list of (very) urgent action requirements. This shows the limits of adaptation to climate change.
Key affected sector(s)buildings
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, nine indicators with time series are presented in the Construction action field: Heat stress in cities, Summer heat island effect, Cooling degree days, Heavy rainfall in urban areas, Claims expenditure in property insurance, Recreational areas, Green roofs in large cities, Investment in energy-efficient renovation of the building envelope, Insurance density in natural hazard insurance. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Construction action field six selected climate impacts were investigated: damage to buildings due to heavy rain, damage to buildings due to river flooding, egetation in settlements, urban climate/heat islands, indoor climate, times for construction work. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe spatial exposure depends largely on the climatic impact under consideration. Factors that influence the sensitivity of buildings are the size and cubature of the building, the material used and, in some cases, elements of the building technology und structural factors such as urban surface sealing, area-related expansion, vegetation cover and green volume, existing air ducts or the degree of structural use. Factors influencing the sensitivity of the vegetation in settlements are type of vegetation, species composition, air quality, pollutant inputs such as road salt and the degree of sealing and soil compaction. Efforts to adapt: adaptation of technical regulations and standards, the creation of structures for the institutionalisation of adaptation, expansion of the scope for action for municipalities through amendments to the building code. Measures to adapt relate to building renovations and the construction of new buildings and require the creation of legal requirements and their specification through standards and technical regulations. Barriers to adaptation can stem from the limited influence of the public sector on privately owned buildings, regulations related to the protection of historical buildings and monuments, or the high costs of flood-adapted construction. Important are spatial planning instruments for dealing with the risk caused by floods or heavy rain, regulating both the urban and building climates, and increasing vegetation in the urban environment.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactshigh
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentSince the climate impacts “damage to buildings due to river floods”, “vegetation in settlements”, “urban climate/heat islands” and “indoor climate” were already classified as high climate risks for the middle of the century in the pessimistic case and require an adaptation period of ten to 50 years (damage to buildings, urban climate) or more than 50 years (vegetation in settlements, indoor climate), they are associated with very urgent needs for action. While “vegetation in settlements” can be reduced to a medium risk by means of the APAIII+ measures (and even to a low-medium risk through more far-reaching adaptation), the climate risks “damage to buildings due to river floods” and “urban climate/heat islands” cannot be reduced to a medium risk by the APAIII+ measures, but by more far-reaching adaptation.
Key affected sector(s)energy
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudelow
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, two indicators with time series are presented in the energy field of action: Weather-related disruptions of power supply, Weather-related unavailability of power supply. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Energy action field six selected climate impacts were investigated: Cooling energy requirements, Heating energy requirements, Interruption of the regional supply chains for energy sources, Insufficient cooling water for thermal plants, Reduction/increase in Yield in photovoltaic systems and in wind energy systems on land and at sea, Lack of reliability of the energy supply. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatelow
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitylow
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentBoth the exposure and the sensitivity factors tend to be climate-impact specific. On the supplier side, location factors such as proximity to coastal or inland waters are relevant. For the transport of fossil fuels, the dependence on the navigability of inland waterways also play a role. On the demand side, Germany is affected by increases in cooling energy requirements. The heat island effect suggests differences in exposure between urban and rural areas. With regard to the potential for adaptation, the picture is quite heterogeneous; the APAIII+ measures and more far-reaching adaptation relate mainly to the use of technical measures and natural resources. On the energy supply side, the autonomous adaptation of the respective actors in the energy sector plays a relatively large role compared to adaptation through state and regulatory action. The adaptability of the energy infrastructure can be increased by investing in decentralized energy supply structures and establishing smart grids. It should also be emphasized that the measures and targets adopted as part of the energy transition do not have a negative effect on future adaptation potential, and that adaptation measures in the action field do not lead to increased energy consumption and emissions. The financial sector can support the expansion of renewable energies through targeted investments, and regional planning makes a contribution in planning for the expansion of renewable energies.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactslow
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentNo climate impacts were selected for the analysis of the adaptive capacity for the action field “energy industry”. Therefore, only the adaptive capacity at the level of the action field was assessed. Climate risks with adaptation in the energy industry action field is low. There are no very urgent or urgent requirements for action in the action field.
Key affected sector(s)tourism
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudelow
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, four indicators with time series are presented in the field of action tourism: Bathing temperatures on the coast, snow cover for winter tourism, market shares of the major tourist areas, Seasonality of overnight stays in the major tourist areas. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Tourism action field six selected climate impacts were investigated: Restriction of tourism options: effects of a lack of guaranteed snow on winter tourism, Restriction of tourism options: effects of heat on health-based tourism, Damage to tourist infrastructure and business interruptions, shift in demand, economic opportunities and risk for tourism. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatemedium
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentDepending on the type of tourism, the altitude (winter tourism) or the relative distance to watersare factors of spatial exposure in the tourism sector. On the supply and demand side, sensitivity is linked to socio-demographic and socio-economic characteristics. The degree of specification or diversification also plays a decisive role on the supply side (ski tourism). The multicausality of travel decisions makes it difficult to forecast and control demand-side adaptation to climate change; adaptation options exist mainly on the supply side. In winter tourism destinations in German low mountain ranges, this is already being pursued with an expansion to include summer outdoor activities, which could also prove useful for the German Alps instead of or in addition to technical adaptation measures such as snow management. The same applies to coastal regions or destinations specialising in hiking tourism (e.g. heat and drought damage). Diversification can also include expanding the cultural activities or marketing regional products. Organisational and knowledge-generating measures are essential components of adaptation strategies (including on the demand side), but financial resources are also critical. The cross-sectional action field of “spatial planning” through regulations on land use contributes to improving the adaptive capacity in the action field; the financial sector could also play a role by expanding the available insurance options, for example.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe multicausality of travel decisions makes it difficult to forecast and control demand side adaptation to climate change; adaptation options exist mainly on the supply side. Selected measures are primarily aimed at generating and providing knowledge as well as raising awareness. This includes the provision of guidelines for the implementation of adaptation measures, online information portals (such as the regional climate atlas) as well as the provision of meteorological data and climate adaptation advice from the “Climate Data Center” of the German Weather Service. More far-reaching adaptation can be made both at the destination management organisation (DMO) level and at the operational level. Diversification of the available activities can be a helpful strategy. In winter tourism destinations in German low mountain ranges, this is already being pursued with an expansion to include summer outdoor activities, which could also prove useful for the German Alps instead of or in addition to technical adaptation measures such as snow management. The same applies to coastal regions (due to the rise in sea levels) or destinations specialising in hiking tourism (e.g. heat and drought damage). Diversification can also include expanding the cultural activities or marketing regional products. Flexibility seems to be particularly important in addition to a variety of activities, given the heterogeneity of travel decisions. While the DMO can provide critical momentum for the conception and implementation of adaptation, adaptation processes are based on the interaction of various actors and require coordination and cooperation. Overall, organisational and knowledge-generating measures are essential components of adaptation strategies (including on the demand side), but financial resources are also critical. There are no very urgent needs for action here.
Key affected sector(s)business; industry
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudelow
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, four indicators with time series are presented in the Industry and commerce action field: Heat-related loss in performance, water intensity of manufacturing, perception of the relevance of physical climate risks in industry and commerce, Exposure of German foreign trade to global climate change. The next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Industry and commerce action field twelve selected climate impacts were investigated: Impairment of the supply of raw materials and intermediate products (international), Restrictions in sales markets (international), Competitive environmental technologies, Impairement of the international transport of goods, Impairment of the movement of goods via waterways (inland), Impairment of the landbased movement of goods, Energy consumption and impairment in energy supply, Water requirements, Release of dangerous substances, Reduced employee productivity, Impairment of production processes, Operational planning expense. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS Monitoring and KWRA 2021 see agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatemedium
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitylow
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThe extent to which German companies are affected by climate change depends on branch of the economy, size of the company, company’s international orientation or the ability to innovate all. They represent critical starting points for adaptation and for improving adaptive capacity. The impairment of the domestic movement of goods via waterways, the conditions of the federal waterways and their catchment area characteristics as well as the location of large industrial sites are critical factors of spatial exposure. The supply of international raw materials and intermediate products are relevant factors to sensitivity. When it comes to adaptation, the action field shows diverse potential; APA III lists a comparatively large number of measures. These relate to “transport, transport infrastructure” or to weather-related extreme events and their effects on industrial sites and buildings, occupational health and safety, plant safety and the safeguarding of hazardous substances. Adaptation can reach its limits if government measures lead to the creation of market imbalances or if adaptations are no longer profitable for companies. The financial sector in particular contributes to strengthening the adaptive capacity by arranging insurance for physical climate risks. Incentives for adaptation can also be set through guidelines for granting loans or investments. Regional planning can support spatial adaptation processes that require a change in land use.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the action field “industry and commerce”, the study analysed and assessed the adaptive capacity to the climate impacts “impairment of the supply of raw materials and intermediate products (international)” and “impairment of the movement of goods via waterways (inland)”. The risk of the climate impact “impairment of the supply of raw materials and intermediate products (international)” could be reduced to “medium-high” in the pessimistic case by implementing more far-reaching adjustments. While the APAIII+ measures could reduce the climate risk of the climate impact “impairment of the movement of goods via waterways (inland)” to “medium-high” in the pessimistic case, a reduction to a medium climate risk could be achieved with more extensive adaptation. The climate impact “impairment of the movement of goods via waterways (inland)” is classified as a very urgent need for action, since the pessimistic case rates it as “high” by the middle of the century and many measures could require a significant lead time (up to 50 years). Urgent needs for action arise for the climate impacts “impairment of the supply of raw materials and intermediate products (international)”, “impairment of the international transport of goods”, “water demand” and “performance losses of employees”.
Key affected sector(s)health
Rating of the observed impacts of key hazards, including changes in frequency and magnitudemedium
Different rating of the observed impacts of key hazardsdifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentIn the DAS monitoring 2023, thirteen indicators with time series are presented in the Human health action field: Heat stress, awareness of health consequences of heat waves, heat-related deaths, exposure to birch pollen, exposure to ragweed pollen, pathogen carriers, cyanobacteria exposure of bathing waters, health hazards of vibrios, UV exposure, ozone exposure, heat warning service, information on pollen, Participation in the Mosquito Atlas. The monitoring report is published every four years by the federal government, the next report is scheduled for November 2023. KWRA 2021 examined all important topics related to climate change in Germany and analysed both the immediate risks of climate change and the potential to address these risks through adaptation. In the Human health action field eight selected climate impacts were investigated: Heat stress, Allergic reactions due to plant-based aeroallergens, Potentially harmful microorganisms and algae, UV-related health damage, Distribution and change in abundance of possible vectors, Respiratory issues (due to air pollution), Injuries and deaths as a result of extreme events, Effects on the healthcare system. The indicators studied in the DAS monitoring and in the KWRA refer to the same climate impacts, if methodologically possible, in order to synchronise monitoring of measured impacts and projections for the future. For more Information on DAS monitoring and KWRA see Agriculture.
Rating of the key hazards' likelihood of occurrence and exposure to them under future climatehigh
Different rating of the likelihood of the occurrence of key hazards and exposure to them under future climatedifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
Rating of the vulnerability, including adaptive capacitymedium
Different rating of the vulnerability and/or adaptive capacitydifferent geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentPeople who are immunocompromised due to age or illness are more sensitive to the health consequences. People who spend a lot of time outdoors are exposed health-threatening situations longer and more frequently. People are also at risk when they lack a functioning, easily accessible health system in the event of problems. This is itself facing new challenges in the course of climate change. Climate adaptation includes education, monitoring of environmental influences as well as standards for rules of conduct and technical equipment. Adaptation Action Plan (APA III) makes significant contributions to “heat exposure”, “UV-related damage to health” and “allergic reactions due to aeroallergens of plant origin” in the areas of education, research and monitoring, information and awareness-raising, regulations on occupational safety and the provision of information material to specific target groups. The adaptation of the information and early warning systems also contributes to better handling of increasing heat exposure and allergens. Adaptation to the spread of possible pathogens and potentially harmful microorganisms and algae takes place through research, monitoring activities and warning or the designation of risk areas. Conflicts between adaptation-related measures exist, with regard to the planting of potentially allergenic species or the expansion of blue infrastructures, which can serve as potential places of distribution for vectors or harmful microorganisms.
Rating for the risk of potential future impactsmedium
Different rating of the risk of potential future impactsdifferent climate change scenarios; different geographical regions within the country; different key hazards
AssessmentThere is a very urgent need for action for the climate impacts “heat stress” and “UV-related damage to health”, given that the climate risks are rated as “high”. While the APAIII+ measures could reduce the climate risk to “medium-high”, it could be reduced to “medium” through more far-reaching adaptation. Another very urgent need for action is the climate impact “allergic reactions due to aeroallergens of plant origin”. Both the APAIII+ measures and more far-reaching adaptation could reduce the climate risk from “high” to “medium” (in the pessimistic case). There is an urgent need for action for the climate risks “breathing difficulties (due to air pollution)” and “effects on the health system”.

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. The second Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021 (KWRA) was published by the Federal Government in 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.
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.
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.
- 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.

In light of the second DAS progress report, dating from 2020, and the coalition agreement for the current federal government, significant measures and instruments for climate change adaptation are already being implemented in the framework of the available budget, such as the following:
• Start of the nationwide process for identification of concrete, measurable goals for climate change adaptation.
• Continuation of work on a federal law on climate change adaptation that is to be adopted in the current legislative period.
• Intensive federal-Länder process for joint financing of climate change adaptation.
• Adaptation of national soil conservation laws in keeping with the challenge of climate change.
• Establishment of a National Soil Monitoring Center within the German Environment Agency (UBA).
• Adoption of an “Immediate-action programme on climate change adaptation” of the Federal Ministry for the Environment in March 2022, with the emphases “Funding and competence-building – local advising – better networking.” In this regard, the “Zentrum KlimaAnpassung” (“Centre for Climate Adaptation”) establishment in July 2021 plays a prominent role.
• Stabilisation and expansion of the programmes “Measures for climate change adaptation” and “Climate change adaptation in social institutions.”
• Initiation and execution of the action programme “Natural Climate Protection” (“Natürlicher Klimaschutz”), which supports both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation.
• In November 2020, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), the DAS ”Climate and Water” basic service was established at Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD, coordination), the Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW).
• Development of a climate damage register and a natural hazards portal


Attention is called to the fact that all measures are subject to the condition that they receive financing. The present report are without prejudice to either current or future budget negotiations.
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.

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, forests, livestock, fisheries and aquaculture, and overarching issues.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A1: Policy instruments
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 instruments
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.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
The BMDV Network of Experts has been established as a cross-modal format of departmental research, encompassing seven research facilities and executive agencies of the BMDV. 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.
Status
being implemented
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 BMDV Network of Experts of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport 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.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
Description
Activities to implement the measures from the White Paper "Green Spaces in the City" contribute to climate protection and adaptation to climate change. A central element is the promotion of urban green space projects in urban development funding, the National Urban Development Projects, the National Climate Protection Initiative, the funding programme "Measures for Adaptation to the Consequences of Climate Change" and model projects for climate adaptation and modernisation in cities.
Status
being implemented
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.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
A: Governance and Institutional
Sub-KTM
A2: Management and Planning
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.
Status
being implemented
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.
Status
being implemented
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
Support of social institutions in arming themselves against the consequences of the climate crisis such as heat, heavy rain or floods. The funding programme was launched in 2020 for a limited period from 2020 to 2023. The response shows: The need for support for social institutions such as hospitals, kindergartens and nursing stations remains great. It is planned to continue the funding programme to support social institutions after 2023, currently amending the funding guideline.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
B: Economic and Finance
Sub-KTM
B1: Financing and incentive instruments
Description
NHWSP will be carried forward to tackle also the growing flood risks in a coordinated manner across 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. Thereby the government supports large-scale retention measures for the improvement of supra-regional flood protection.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
C: Physical and technological approaches
Sub-KTM
C2: Technological options
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 options
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 options
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 to attaining biodiversity and climate goals, generate synergies between these two and other development goals. 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.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D1: Green options
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 options
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.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
D: Nature based solutions and ecosystem-based approaches
Sub-KTM
D2: Blue options
Description
The National Blue Compass Award is hosted on a bi-annual basis (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Environment Agency). The aim is to present innovative, effective and sustainable solutions for adapting to the impacts of climate change, such as heat, droughts and severe rain. Winners receive a monetary prize of EUR 25,000 per winner. Submissions are possible in four categories: municipalities, private and municipal companies, research and educational institutes, associations and foundations.
Status
implemented/completed
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E1: Information and awareness raising
Description
The DAS basic service “Climate & Water” which is currently being set up within the BMDV 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 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.
Status
being implemented
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.
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).
Status
being implemented
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.
Status
being implemented
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. A redesign is being done and might be published soon. 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
With FONA, BMBF funds research that raises awareness on climate adaptation, provides inputs for adaptation, develops technical and social innovations, or demonstrates resilient reconstruction after extreme events "Climate resilience through action in city and region, KAHR". Through "UC2" and "RegIKlim" information is provided on the local effects and adaptation measures. The robustness of extreme events in terms of their changing characteristics and probabilities is addressed with “ClimXtreme”.
Status
being implemented
Key type measure (KTM)
E: Knowledge and behavioural change
Sub-KTM
E2: Capacity Building, empowerment and lifestyle practices
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. The initiative aims to create the necessary scientific foundation for preserving biodiversity in Germany and securing ecosystem services that are vital to our well-being and will 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
E2: Capacity Building, empowerment and lifestyle practices
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 third DAS Monitoring Report 2023 is currently being prepared and is scheduled for publication in November 2023.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 process of planning climate change adaptation in Germany. The first climate impact and vulnerability analysis (KWVA 2015) identified 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. It is updated every six years, with each analysis applying to two DAS reporting cycles (see also Section A.2). The second “Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021” (KWRA) was commissioned by the federal government as part of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS). The methodology of the KWRA is based on the analysis of climate impact chains and ISO 14091. The results serve as a foundation for the improvement and the development of future adaptation action. In this way, the KWRA supports the formulation of concrete adaptation action in the next Adaptation Action Plan (APA IV, envisaged for 2024). It is a systematic, cross-sectoral analysis and assessment of the effects of climate change and answers the following questions:
1. How will climate change affect the environment, our livelihoods, health, everyday lives and economy?
2. Where can we reduce the risks of climate change through adaptation?
3. What areas require urgent action?
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. The third DAS Monitoring Report 2023 is currently being prepared and is scheduled for publication in November 2023.
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 second “Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021” (KWRA) was commissioned by the federal government as part of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS).
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.

Good practices and lessons learnt

Not reported

Cooperation and experience

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, 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.

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.
Adaptation to climate change has become increasingly embedded as a task at the level of the Federal States. By the end of 2022 eleven 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 BMUV’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.
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 competition takes place every two years.

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.
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Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection

T III 1
Lead management adaptation policy

Relevant websites and social media source

[Disclaimer]
The source of information presented in these pages is the reporting of EU Member States under 'Regulation (EU) 2018/1999 on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action' and the voluntary reporting of EEA Member Countries.'