Adaptation at the Federal Level

the Reichstags dome behind plantsClick to enlarge
Adaptation to climate change is a major political issue.
Source: christophe papke /

The impacts of climate change are already being felt in Germany today - and they will continue to intensify in the future. This has a significant impact on the health and prosperity of people in Germany. Timely and anticipatory adaptation to the consequences of climate change is therefore becoming increasingly important.

Table of Contents


The German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change

In December 2008, the Federal Government adopted the "German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change" (DAS) to provide a political framework for climate change adaptation in Germany. It presents possible climate impacts and adaptation options in 15 different fields of action. The aim of the DAS is to reduce climate risks in natural, social and economic systems, to increase the adaptability of these systems and to take advantage of possible opportunities. The fields of action were summarized in six clusters in the course of the further development of the DAS:

  • Cluster Infrastructure: construction, energy industry and transport/transport infrastructure
  • Cluster Land: soil, agriculture, forestry and biological diversity
  • Cluster Spatial planning and civil protection: spatial planning, regional and land use planning and civil protection
  • Cluster Water: water balance, water management, coastal and marine protection and fisheries
  • Cluster Health: Human Health
  • Cluster Economy: industry and commerce, tourism and finance

You can find more about the climate impacts and adaptation options in the individual fields of action under “Climate Impacts Germany” and “Regional und sectoral Adaptation”.


How is the DAS implemented?

In order to achieve the goals of the DAS, concrete measures are required by the federal government. The Adaptation Action Plan (APA) defines which measures the federal government is using to advance Germany’s adaptation to climate change and how it supports responsible actors in the implementation of measures. It presents the federal government's current and future measures to adapt to the consequences of climate change. The APA is updated regularly and published together with the DAS progress reports.


Further development of the DAS

Since the knowledge base on climate change and its consequences is constantly expanding, the DAS is being continuously developed. A reporting system is used on the basis of which progress reports on the DAS are published on a regular basis.

The second DAS progress report was published in November 2020. The following principles are included in the progress reports:

  1. The Monitoring Report provides an overview of the observed consequences of climate change and adaptation measures that have already been initiated in Germany. The update takes place every four years.
  2. The Climate Impact and Risk Assessment identifies which climate impacts and which regions are particularly affected and require action. Climate effects are considered in the fields of action of the DAS as well as across fields of action. The update takes place every six years.
  3. The Adaptation Action Plans (APAs) present the federal government's current and future measures to adapt to climate change. The APA is updated regularly and published together with the progress report.
  4. The evaluation of the DAS analyzes the strategy process and the impact of the DAS. The external evaluation takes place every four years.


DAS reporting system
The DAS reporting system
Source: Second Progress Report on the DAS

Dialogue and participation process for DAS

The implementation and further development of the DAS is accompanied by an extensive and interdisciplinary dialogue and participation process. Relevant actors in Germany are involved in the process via various participation formats.


The committees of DAS

The support and coordination of the work related to the DAS takes place within the Federal Government under the leadership of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) via the Interministerial Working Group on Adaptation to Climate Change (IMAA). All federal ministries work together in the IMAA, regularly coordinate their activities and continuously set new goals in order to create the conditions for climate adaptation in Germany.

The network of authorities on climate change and adaptation supports the IMAA under the direction of the Federal Environment Agency in the implementation and further development of the DAS. As a network of federal authorities and institutions, the focus is particularly on the technical development and coordination of scientific content on the DAS. At the UBA, the Competence Center for Climate Impacts and Adaptation (⁠KomPass⁠) coordinates the work on the DAS.

The Standing Committee on Adaptation to the Consequences of Climate Change (StA AFK) serves to promote cooperation between the federal government and the federal states. The specific strategies and measures of the state administrations are taken into account in the work on the DAS via the StA AFK. It is part of the federal-state working group on climate, energy, mobility and sustainability at the Conference of Environment Ministers.


The German Climate Preparedness Portal

In September 2018 the German federal government launched the German climate preparedness portal. Here, municipalities, businesses and society can get support in the form of information and tools for their handling of the consequences of climate change. The German environment agency supports the portal with a network where stakeholders can exchange information on adaption to climate change, counsel each other or learn from each other.


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 Anpassung  Klimawandel  Klimafolgen  KomPass