High-end scenarios - National adaptation measures for a strong climate change scenario

A hurricane is about to batter this caribbean beach hut. The seas are raging and the skies show the tropical storm as the power of nature is demonstrated. Waves crash on the shore

The international community adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015 to limit global warming and the consequences of climate change. However, the climate protection pledges planned by the individual states will not meet either the 1.5°C or the 2°C targets. Climate change may therefore be much more severe than currently predicted. Extreme climate change scenarios (high-end scenarios) show the consequences that exceed the current projections of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They also take into account the effects of tipping points, which are triggered by processes such as the thawing of permafrost soils and can cause abrupt changes in the state of a system. High-end scenarios are little researched so far, in Germany, as well as internationally. In such scenarios, traditional adaptation options reach their limits. If, for example, a further increase in dikes is no longer possible, inhabitants have to abandon their land.

The project "High-End scenarios - National adaptation measures for a strong climate change scenario" examines what extreme climate scenarios can look like in Germany and what the possible limits to adaptation are. On behalf of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the project team is developing various scenarios on selected topics and illustrating them with case studies and narratives. In addition, adaptation options and especially the limits of adaptation to a strong climate change will be analysed.

adelphi is organising and leading participatory processes that bring together various stakeholders. In workshops and dialogue events, the project team will discuss the scenarios with experts from politics and practice. A normative check with stakeholders from different areas of society ensures that the scenarios consider different perspectives. In addition to the national impacts of climate change, the project is increasingly establishing links to international impacts and the consequences for Germany. One focus of the project is the potential for adaptation either through conventional adaptation measures or through transformative adaptation. The project will communicate the results to various target groups. Because only if we know what realistic worst-case scenarios look like can politics and society adapt to them.