How vulnerable is Germany to climate change? New report provides proficient answers

The recent analysis of the Vulnerability Network shows that increasing heat waves and floods as well as climate-related water shortages may challenge human health, the environment and infrastructure in the near future. The report has been published on 23 November 2015.


Over a timespan of four years, adelphi, together with its scientific partners and a broad network of state agencies, identified the sectoral, cross-sectoral and regional impacts of climate change across Germany. The final report, “Germany’s Vulnerability to Climate Change” has been presented on 24th November 2015 in Berlin in a joint press conference held by the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUB), the German Environment Agency (UBA), and the National Meteorological Service (DWD). At around 700 pages, the final report offers a detailed analysis of the impacts of climate change on a total of 14 societally and economically important sectors, illustrating these with diverse graphics, tables, and diagrams.

The findings base on a methodology of vulnerability analysis, developed by the Vulnerability Network, which has been conceptualised in a way that it can be applied to all fields of action of the German adaptation strategy. In this way, the authors were able to make scientifically grounded and cross-sectorally comparable estimates of expected climate impacts and generate an integrated overall picture of the significance of climate change for Germany. Furthermore, the vulnerability assessment includes socio-economic scenarios as land use or economic and demographic developments for the first time for Germany, as Maria Krautzberger pointed out at the press conference.

The methodology applied can also be used in future studies of various regions and timespans, and has therefore been comprehensively documented.

Final report is a possible starting point for in-depth assessments

The work of the Vulnerability Network and the newly available final report are key stones for adaptation policy at the federal level and provide decision-makers in politics, business, and civil society with an essential basis for the prevention and/or abatement of climate impacts. At the same time, the final report and its cross-sectoral methodology offer a starting point for further in-depth vulnerability analyses at state level and in individual departments. Furthermore, the methodology has already been applied in a lightly modified form within the Vulnerability Sourcebook, developed by adelphi and commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

The vulnerability analysis was completed as part of the further development of the German Climate Change Adaptation Strategy (DAS). The basis for the cross-sectoral national vulnerability assessment was provided by transdisciplinary collaboration and methods development in the Vulnerability Network, an association consisting of 16 higher federal authorities and institutions and a consortium under the leadership of adelphi.

» Report: Vulnerabilität Deutschlands gegenüber dem Klimawandel (German)

» Vulnerability Network website

» Press Information by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA)