Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021: How vulnerable is Germany to climate change?

Hochwasser auf dem Rhein

Heat waves in summer, intensifying heavy rainfall events as well as an increasing frequency of droughts - the consequences of climate change pose major challenges for Germany. As these challenges will increase in the near and distant future, it is key to set the groundwork for tomorrow’s course today. In order to do so, an in-depth knowledge on Germany’s most vulnerable sectors, actions and natural areas with regards to the consequences of climate change is required. Only then can suitable and tailored measures be developed and implemented that are able to reduce the risks of climate change for Germany and increase the adaptive capacity of its society and ecosystems.

Under the leadership of adelphi, the Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021 for Germany was conducted in cooperation with two project partners. The report, similar to the last vulnerability analysis published by adelphi in 2015 on behalf of the German Environment Agency, serves as a scientific basis for the further development of the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change and for the development of further adaptation measures.

adelphi organized the cooperation with a network of 25 higher federal agencies, whose expertise was incorporated into the analysis of over 100 climate impacts in 13 action fields. Following the analysis and assessment of climate risks, the extent to which the implementation of adaptation measures can mitigate climate risks was considered for selected climate impacts. This made it possible to derive and characterize needs for action. The results were brought together in 6 sub-reports.

Using a revised methodology compared to the vulnerability analysis of 2015, the Climate Impact and Risk Assessment 2021 was able to identify climate risks for the end of the century. In addition, a new methodological approach for examining and assessing adaptive capacity was developed and applied. For the first time, cascading effects and dynamics between the various system areas impacted by climate change have also been analysed in detail.

Publications of this project