Federal Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke commented: "The climate crisis confronts all of us with the question of how we can continue to deal with life under climate change in the future. For young people, this is a particularly important question for the future. One thing is certain, this can only be done together. That is why I invite all citizens and especially young people to participate in the Climate Adaptation Dialogue. The more people participate, the clearer the wishes and needs of the population will become."
UBA President Dirk Messner added: "The implementation of climate adaptation measures, especially nature-based solutions, can have many positive impacts also on other important areas such as climate protection and biodiversity, protection against noise and air pollution or safeguarding water availability. However, in this regard, conflicts can arise in the use of land. Finding solutions for this also means negotiating compromises together."
More and more days of intense heat, dry spells and drought, as well as storms, heavy rain and flooding are affecting life in Germany too. Climate adaptation is about improving preparedness and protection against extreme weather events while preparing for long-term climate changes such as rising temperatures and sea levels. Therefore, the German government is currently refining the German Adaptation Strategy from 2008 and intends to present a new precautionary climate change adaptation strategy by the end of 2024. This strategy is enshrined in the new Climate Adaptation Act, which was approved by the Federal Cabinet in mid-July 2023.
Contributions to the development of the new precautionary climate adaptation strategy are expected to emerge from a broad-based participation process. With the "Dialogue on Climate Adaptation – Coping with Climate Change Together” initiative, the Federal Environment Ministry and the German Environment Agency are continuing the social discussion on the necessary precautions and adaptation needed to deal with consequences of climate change. Citizens, including teenagers and young people, can contribute their ideas for a climate-adapted Germany and make recommendations on how this should be achieved in order to maintain a high quality of life. At the same time, experts from the federal states, municipalities, associations and science are being invited by the federal government to participate in the various thematic clusters and will be able to contribute their expertise to the development of the strategy. The results of the participation process will be incorporated into the new, precautionary climate adaptation strategy as it is further developed by the Federal Government.
Parallel to the online dialogue for the general public, which starts today, an online youth participation process is taking place, which is specifically aimed at teenagers and young people between 14 and 25 years of age. The focus here is on the long-term impact of climate change and the young generation's ideas for the future.
The implementation of measures for precautions against and adaptation to the increasing consequences of climate change contributes to maintaining or improving the quality of life for everyone in Germany despite the climate crisis. The online dialogue is to be followed by five regional dialogue events with randomly selected citizens and the participation of experts from the federal states, municipalities, associations and the scientific community.