Policy instruments for climate adaptation in Germany

Floods in Ulm, river Danube

Against a backdrop of ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions, the political debate accompanying issues of mitigation is increasingly concerned with adaptation to unavoidable consequences of climate change. In Germany, the issue of adaptation to climate change impacts has established itself as a distinct policy field since at least the adoption of the German Adaptation Strategy (Deutsche Anpassungsstrategie, DAS) in 2008 and the corresponding Action Plan on Adaptation (Aktionsplan Anpassung) of 2011.

Climate adaptation concerns a number of sectors and sections of the population and thus constitutes an important and cross-cutting issue. For this reason, DAS intends for effects of climate change and adaptation to be anchored in all departmental policy areas and integrated into long-term planning strategies. This process of so-called “Climate Mainstreaming” is just beginning.

Within the framework of this project, adelphi is interrogating to what extent effects of climate change and adaptation are already taken into account in legislation at the federal level in Germany, and in strategies adopted by German Federal Ministries. To this end, and alongside a study of literature and other source material, representatives of all federal ministries will be canvassed. The focus of these qualitative interviews will be on potential barriers hindering the integration of climate change adaptation into existing regulations. Beyond this, adelphi will contribute to the federal government’s progress report planned for 2015. For this purpose, adelphi will evaluate the implementation status of the 2011 Action Plan on Adaptation.