Climate Change Adaptation

The 5th Assessment Report of the IPCC emphasises the urgent need for societies to adapt to the impacts of climate change in order to minimise the associated risks. In general, less developed countries are found to be at much more risk than industrialised countries. Nevertheless, a change in climate regime – with climatic impacts such as increasing number of extreme weather events, prolonged drought, heat waves and floods – is also expected for Germany.

In 2008 the German Federal Government adopted the "German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change". It had been further developed and specified in 2011 when the Government in cooperation with the federal states agreed upon an "Adaptation Action Plan". Parallel to this, most states also developed regional adaptation strategies.

There is a particular challenge to design strategies and processes of sustainable development at different political levels in a climate robust way, for instance, in energy transition and sustainable urban transformation. In the existing methods of "climate proofing" resilience criteria such as robustness, redundancy and flexibility should be considered in the future. In addition to this, new standards and norms as well as a build-up of sufficient capacity, e.g. regarding urban areas and infrastructure planning, are also missing.

Bosco Verticale
Green view: Nearly 900 trees growing on balconies of two Milanese highrise buildings. Nature helps to adapt to the impacts of climate change and involved the cities. © Bosco Verticale by Kent Wang, (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In the Wuppertal Institute's research projects on climate change adaptation the various debates and disciplines are always consolidated. The subjects of research are usually technical infrastructure and urban development with particular consideration of their interfaces and their social integration and design. As part of a strategic policy advising the Institute supports public and private institutions in developing integrated approaches to climate change adaptation. Conceptually, this requires the use of a wide range of research methods, such as the development of guiding visions, participatory processes and multi-criteria analysis; more detailed information is available in the paper: Methods of Climate Change Adaptation


Rainer Lucas

Tel.: +49 202 2492-260

Fax: +49 202 2492-250

Dr. Ralf Schüle

Tel.: +49 202 2492-110

Fax: +49 202 2492-250


Here you find research activities in the field of climate change adaptation.

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