Authority cooperation on climate change and adaptation

Background and Goals

The R&D project on authority cooperation supports the cooperation and collaboration between different agencies within the framework of the DAS implementation. It provides technical preparatory work for the next progress report (Fortschrittsbericht) and the APA III. The work will focus on the vulnerability analysis of the federal government from 2015. The project aims at determining the damage potentials of selected climate impacts as well as at evaluating corresponding adaptation measures on a monetary basis. In addition, an analysis framework for the successful combination of adaptation instruments will be developed.
The goal is to develop a proposal for a mix of policy instruments for a successful further development and implementation of the German Adaptation Strategy (DAS).

The addressees of the project are, in particular, representatives of federal authorities and ministries. The project provides technical preparations for the next progress report and the APA III. The interim and final results of the project will be prepared for the information of the IMA adaptation strategy. For the adaptation measures to be examined in the project, different stakeholder groups at all levels are responsible.

Content time


Research area/region

  • Germany
Region of implementation (all German federal states)
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Berlin
  • Brandenburg
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg
  • Hesse
  • Mecklenburg Western Pomerania
  • Lower Saxony
  • Northrhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland Palatinate
  • Saarland
  • Saxony
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Thuringia
Natural spatial classification
  • Alp and North Bavarian hills
  • Alps
  • Alpine Foothills
  • Erz Mountains, Thuringian Forest and Bavarian Forest
  • coasts: North Sea-/Baltic Sea coasts
  • Low mountain ranges left and right of Rhine
  • North-East German lowland
  • North-West German lowland
  • Upper Rhine Rift
  • South-Eeastern basin and hills
  • West German lowland bay
  • Central low mountain ranges and Harz

Steps in the process of adaptation to climate change

Step 1: Understand and describe climate change

Approach and results 

The projected future climatic changes will be taken into account by an estimation of the changing occurrence probability. Corresponding alteration factors will be derived from the literature. In addition, selected climate projections for the territory of the Federal Republic will be used to assess the anticipated effects of climate change.

Parameter (climate signals)
  • Heat waves
  • Flash floods
  • Higher average temperatures
  • Sea level rise und storm surges
  • Extreme precipitation (incl. hail, snow)
  • Dry periods
Further Parameters 

Forest fire hazards

Time horizon
  • short term = next year’s / decades
  • medium term = to 2050
  • long term = to 2100 and beyond

Step 2a: Identify and assess risks - climate effects and impact

Approach and results 

The project investigates climate consequences and impacts, based on a risk analysis approach. This includes a clear separation between the following components:

i) description of the (meteorological) dangers caused by climate change,

ii) spatiotemporal identification of the vulnerable receptors ("elements at risk"),

iii) determination of the exposure of the receptors and iv) determination of the impact-effect-relationship (= damage functions).

The analysis of climate effects is carried out using relevant models for the assessment of direct damage. Information on climatic exposure and sensitivity is intertwined with the aid of appropriate damage functions. The result will be the calculation of a potential loss or if possible the annual loss expectation value (EAD).

Step 2b: Identify and assess risks - Vulnerability, risks and chances

Approach and results 

The concept for vulnerability analysis used in this project is based on the vulnerability understanding defined in the fourth IPCC report (AR4). Risk analyses are thereby carried out for selected impact chains identified as relevant in the previous project "Network Vulnerability" (“Netzwerk Vulnerabilität”) and prioritized for the current project. In addition to the reference state, future changes in the potential damage will be calculated on the basis of the expected climatic changes and the damage-reducing influence of different adaptation strategies will be evaluated.

Urgency and priorization of adaptation needs 

In the previous project "Network Vulnerability", hotspots of vulnerability were identified on the basis of impact chains. In the current project, central economic, social and ecological damages and damage potentials for Germany are to be described and assessed for prioritized impact chains. Where it is technically possible and reasonable potential damage potentials are to be assessed economically.

Step 3: Develop and compare measures

Measures and/or strategies 

So far, there exists a lack of an in-depth analysis of effective combinations of adaptation measures. This analysis is necessary to promote the implementation of measures (bundles) in a targeted manner (policy mix). Within the scope of the project, an evaluation framework for the combination of adaptation measures will be developed. Using the examples of prioritized climate impacts, those possible combinations of policy instruments for the implementation of adaptation measures will be identified that significantly reduce the damage potential of these climate effects. Based on this, recommendations for the combination of adaptation measures will be derived. Furthermore, the harm reduction effects of exemplary non-structural adaptation measures will be compared.

Time horizon
  • 2021–2050 (near future)
  • 2071–2100 (far future)
Conflicts / synergies / sustainability 

In the scope of the project, possibilities for the use of synergies and the avoidance or reduction of conflicts between adaptation instruments will be considered in order to identify combinations of adaptation measures which are as efficient and successful as possible.

Step 4: Plan and implement measures

Measures and/or strategies 

The purpose of the current project is to examine the financial extent to which possible future damage to the respective impact chains could be reduced through selected, non-structural adjustment measures.

Costs of the measures 

In order to substantiate suitable adaptation measures as well as policy instruments, detailed analyses will be carried out for selected examples and the costs for the implementation of measures and policy instruments will be assessed.

Legal aspects 

Legislative short-term analysis are intended to provide an in-depth analysis of selected legal and policy instruments and their mix, particularly in regards to the extent to which there is a legal need to change (transformative) adaptation to climate change and whether a possible change in the instruments falls or may fall in the future within the jurisdiction of the state.


Funding / Financing 

German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB) / German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)

Project management 

adelphi research gGmbH


Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung (IÖR)
UP Transfer GmbH (an der Universität Potsdam)


Wörlitzer Platz 1
06844 Dessau-Roßlau

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Fields of action:
 agriculture  coastal and marine protection  human health  industry and commerce  soil  transport, transport infrastructure  woodland and forestry  cross sectoral