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) provides the political framework for climate change adaptation in Germany. In order to support this strategy with concrete measures, the Adaptation Action Plan (APA) was adopted in 2011.

Table of Contents


Adaptation Action Plan of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

The effects of climate change have an impact on all fields of action of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. The actors in charge need reliable data and tools in order to initiate the adaptation measures necessary. The Adaptation Action Plan defines which concrete measures the German Federal Government will take to advance the German adaptation to climate change and how it supports the actors involved in implementing those measures.


Adaptation Action Plan II

The objectives and courses for action named in the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change have been underpinned with specific activities already in August 2011 via the first  “Adaptation Action Plan of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change” (APA) which was adopted by the Federal Government of Germany.

In 2015, the DAS Progress Report, containing a second Adaptation Action Plan (APA II), has been decided. The APA II presents ongoing as well as future measures for the handling of climate change and its impacts. It was developed in a shared effort by various federal ministries. The German Laender, local authorities, the scientific community and societal actors have been involved in the process.


Clusters of the Adaptation Action Plan II

The activities depicted in the APA II are assigned to the clusters “Water”, “Infrastructure”, “Land”, “Health”, “Economy” and “Spatial Planning and Civil Protection”. Those six clusters were introduced with the vulnerability study of 2015. Each cluster comprises several fields of action of the DAS. One additional cluster exists for comprehensive activities.
You can find a range of activities and instruments which are described in the Adaptation Action Plan II below:


Comprehensive Activities

As a comprehensive measure the Federal Government of Germany has established a guide for climate related services and for services supporting the adaptation to climate change: The German Climate Preparedness Portal.
The German Climate Preparedness Portal is based on a two-pillar-model:

  1. The first pillar covers the Deutscher Klimadienst (DKD), Germany’s National Climate Service. It was established in 2015, its branch office is located at Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), Germany's National Meteorological Service. It provides climate related information and services which are needed for the implementation of the DAS.
  2. The second pillar KlimAdapt concentrates services supporting the adaptation to climate change. Its branch office is located at the Competence Centre “KomPass - Climate Impacts and Adaptation in Germany” at the German Environment Agency.

    The Interministerial Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change (IMA Anpassungsstrategie) functions as a steering committee for the German Climate Preparedness Portal.

It was decided that existing climate and extreme weather forecasts as well as projection data for waters shall be provided regularly as a further comprehensive measure. The DAS monitoring report will be updated every four years.  Further, the Federal Government is going to carry out several research projects in order to expand the knowledge of climate change and to advance climate models. Technical guidelines and norms are to be reviewed with regard to the impacts of climate change.


Cluster “Water”

The cluster “Water” comprises the fields of action water resources, water management, coastal and marine protection and fishery.

  • Water Resources/Water Management:
    The measures referred to in the APA II are primarily supposed to improve the management of and prearrangement for flood risks as well as the handling of heavy rainfalls and flash floods. Among other things the renaturation of water courses and water meadows is to be advanced and natural floodplains are to be created.
  • Coastal and Marine Protection:
    As the division of responsibilities in the field of coastal and marine protection is quite complex, measures concerning this field of action have to be coordinated carefully. That is why the APA II mainly refers to research and monitoring measures.
  • Fishery:
    Mainly research measures will be implemented in this field of action.

Cluster “Infrastructure”

The cluster “Infrastructure” comprises the fields of action construction industry, energy sector and traffic and transport infrastructure.

  • Construction Industry:
    Measures from the cluster “Water” are particularly relevant for the construction industry in order to avoid or minimize flood damage to buildings and infrastructures. A second focus is on the impact of heat: How does it affect urban climate and how can temperatures in buildings be regulated in a climate-friendly manner? In order to avoid elevated energy consumption for the cooling of buildings the energy efficiency standards of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) may have to be reconsidered.
  • Energy Sector:
    Adaptation measures have to be implemented foremost in the sphere of power plants in order to avoid cooling water shortages or damage to generation units. This is why thermal load plans have to be reviewed under changed temperatures and different hydrological conditions.
  • Traffic and Transport Infrastructure:
    Several programs will be developed that aim at a better handling of the impacts of climate change. The programme “Adaptation of the road infrastructure to climate change” (AdSVIS) analyses those impacts of climate change on the road infrastructure and develops as well as tests possible options for adaptation.

Cluster “Spatial Planning and Civil Protection”

Climate change is a challenge for spatial planning as well as civil protection.

  • Spatial Planning:
    The APA II ties in with model-projects from the APA I and further advances planning tools. Projects such as “KlimREG – climate change suitable regional plan” or “Climate resilient urban regeneration” have been or will be realised.
  • Civil Protection:
    Several projects related to topics such as the availability of drinking water, self-protection and self-help or risk analysis in the field of civil protection are going to be realised. Adaptation to climate change is also supposed to be integrated into lectures.

Cluster “Land”

The cluster “Land” comprises the fields of action soils, biological diversity, agriculture and forestry.

  • Soils:
    The APA II describes several superordinate measures in the areas of monitoring, data provision and information exchange. Key topics are soil erosion due to wind and water as well as the protection of moorlands.
  • Biological Diversity:
    A joint monitoring carried out by the Federal Government and the Laender will be considered  in order to curtail the dispersion of invasive species. Further, research activities concerning biodiversity and climate change are going to be expanded.
  • Agriculture:
    For this field of action research concerning the impact of plant protecting agents in light of changing conditions due to climate change is planned. Another research project investigates, how agricultural practices can be improved, for example by minimum tillage.
  • Forestry:
    Mainly superordinate activities such as several research projects or the Internet platform "Climate change and climate protection in the agricultural sector", which offers information on questions concerning forestry, have been established for this field of action. The Federal Government has established the “Waldklimafonds”, an endowment fund meant to support the adaptation to climate change of German forests.

Cluster “Health”

In order to recognise health risks at an early stage the activities planned for this cluster focus on monitoring and research, e.g. related to vector-borne diseases. Further, measures to improve risk communication and prevention are of great importance. Information is supposed to be prepared in a target group specific manner and shall be provided to vulnerable groups in particular. The formulation of so called heat wave action plans is being considered concerning the handling of heat waves. Trainings for propagators are considered as well concerning the handling of health related climate impacts in the areas of formation and qualification.


Cluster “Economy”

The cluster “Economy” comprises the fields of action industry and commerce, finance and insurance sector and tourism. Numerous measures from the field of action traffic and transport infrastructure are relevant for this cluster as well.

  • Industry and Commerce:
    In order to protect commercial and industrial infrastructure, norms and technical regulations have to be reviewed for this field of action.
  • Finance and Insurance Sector:
    Actors involved shall be sensitised for climate change and its impacts using different measures. Further, the existing data as well as the exchange knowledge and experience are to be improved.
  • Tourism:
    Adaptation measures are primarily supposed to support the adaptation of those actors who are bound to a specific region that is affected by climate change, e.g. in winter sport regions. This support comes in form of information, integration and superordinate strategies for tourism development.

The measures described above represent only a selection of a greater range of measures. All ongoing and scheduled measures of the APA II can be found in the DAS Progress Report.


APA – What’s Next?

The Adaptation Action Plan is an important basis for an early and effective adaptation to climate change. In the future a Progress Report with an updated Action Plan will be released every four years.
Further information about the adaptation at the federal level can be found here.