Germany under Climate Change

The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) has mandated the project partners to study the capability to adapt to climate change and ways into a climate-robust society in 2050.

Research approach

Social, ecological and economic factors influence a country’s capability to adapt to climate change. In this project, scientists are taking a closer look at these factors. They are also studying to what extent political tools are strengthening Germany’s capability to adapt to climate change.

Current situation

The project team is researching which institutions, players and tools Germany has with regard to climate adaptation policy. ISOE wants to find out which civil groups or individuals are already successfully adapting to climate change and can thus be classed as ‘good practice’ examples.

Preconditions for the capability to adapt

Researchers are also analyzing what distinguishes a society that can adapt well to the consequences of climate change, especially with regard to social conditions: for example, whether the population at large is even aware of the dangers posed by extreme events. Or to what extent society is prepared for climate change: through insurability, the possibility to retreat from extreme weather events, emergency plans or social networks.

ISOE is studying the adaptability of the individual. That also means finding out what changes are necessary so we can deal with the consequences of climate change in daily life better - for example, whether we need to change daily routines in order to cope with extreme events like heat waves or the spread of pathogens.

The project team will be developing policy recommendations based on the research results.


In addition to climate protection, continuing climate change is making it increasingly vital for us to adapt to its inevitable consequences. Adaptation capacity – the capability of dealing with the consequences of climate change, of adapting to them or of recovering from damaging events – is particularly important in this context. In addition to economic factors and developments, a society’s adaptation capacity is especially determined by social factors.


Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)
HafenCity University Hamburg
Climate Media Factory UG
e-fect dialog evaluation consulting eG


Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, UBA)


2011/10 – 2014/11