What does climate change cost?
The first signs of climate change, such an the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, are already tangible. This report shows the size of potential economic damage through climate impacts, how the risk of potential damages can be reduces through adaptation measures, and how much various measures would cost. It assesses damage potentials for society, economy and ecosystems of a number of prioritised climate change related risks. The focus areas heavy rain, storm surges, heat-related deaths, human productivity, forest fires, and water erosion were analysed regarding climate change impacts to assess the respective damage processes. The impacts of adaptation measures were also analysed. The results show that given certain assumptions, there is considerable potential for damage in various sectors that could be reduced drastically through the early implementation of adaptation measures. The potential of residential building damage through heavy rain, for example, estimated at a risk potential of 13 billion euros, could be lowered by 36 percent by adapting construction provisions.
To design effective climate adaptation policy, a solid knowledge base is needed, covering potential climate change related damages as well as damage reduction potentials. This is the only way to identify the possibilities of a successful and efficient climate adaptation in Germany. These factors were analysed in the Umweltbundesamt research project Cooperation Network of State Authorities on Climate Change Adaptation. The project was implemented in close cooperation with the Network of State Authorities for Climate Change and Adaptation and will help the work of the inter-ministerial work group Adaptation. This report is part 1 of the final result of this project. The second part deals with the development and trial of a method for the integrated assessment of measures and policy instruments for climate adaptation.