Adaptation Action Plan

Brochures on the Adaptation Action PlanClick to enlarge
The Adaptation Action Plan describes the specific adaptation actions of the federal government.
Source: Susanne Kambor/KomPass

The German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) is the policy framework for climate adaptation in Germany. In order to support this strategy with concrete measures, the Adaptation Action Plan (APA) was adopted in 2011.

The Adaptation Action Plan

The objectives and potential courses of action referred to in the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change are backed with specific activities by the “Adaptation Action Plan of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change” (APA) that was adopted in August 2011 by the Federal Government. Furthermore, the Action Plan describes the connections between the DAS to other national strategy processes, such as the High Tech Strategy or the National Biodiversity Strategy.

The APA provides an overview of federal activities that will be carried out in the coming years. While the DAS structures the evaluation of possible climate impacts and adaptation options according to fields of action, the APA relies on cross-sectoral strategic pillars for the presentation of these activities.
Pillar 1: “Provide knowledge, information, and empower”
The first pillar of the APA consists of government initiatives, which intend to expand the knowledge base, provide and impart information. Furthermore it is meant to promote dialogue processes, participation and networking.

Pillar 2: “Establishing the framework through the federal government”
The second pillar of the APA aims at ensuring that social actors increasingly take climate change adaptation into account by establishing the appropriate legal frameworks. This includes, for example, giving impetus to adopt adaptation measures in standardisation and in view of technical standards as well as establishing incentive mechanisms in promotion policies of the federal government.

Pillar 3: “Activities in immediate federal responsibility”
The third pillar of the APA includes activities of the federal government that adapt state-owned areas, property, infrastructure (such as federal waterways or railways) and construction projects to climate change.

Pillar 4: “International Responsibility”
The fourth pillar provides information on European and international climate change adaptation initiatives of the federal government. This refers, inter alia, to Germany’s contributions to development and research cooperation.

The federal level activities indicated in the APA need to be complemented by measures of the federal states and municipalities.

What are the goals of the Adaptation Action Plan?

In accordance with the DAS, the Action Plan aims at reducing negative impacts of climate change and exploiting existing opportunities. Against this background, the APA assists individuals, companies and politics in including climate and extreme weather-related factors in their planning and decision-making processes. Thus, the actors’ capacity to act and their self-provision abilities - often referred to as adaptive capacity – are strengthened. In addition, the APA specifies the DAS by specifically naming activities of the federal government in the field of climate change adaptation and determines future steps for a further development and implementation of the DAS.

What comes after the APA?

The Adaptation Action Plan is an important basis for timely and effective climate change adaptation. Even after its adoption by the federal government, the political process for climate change adaptation has been and still is constantly continued. In the context of the progress report, the German Adaptation Strategy will be evaluated by the end of 2014, and the Adaptation Action Plan will be updated (APA II). KomPass provides important scientific contributions for the further development of the federal government’s adaptation strategy. In 2010, a study on required activities for the adaptation of environmental and planning laws was presented and followed by another report published by the end of 2012 in which costs and benefits of climate change adaptation measures in Germany were identified and evaluated.

Detailed information on the further development of the DAS and the continuation of the APA can be found in the section “Further Development of the DAS” .