German activities

Towards comprehensive climate risk management

Monsoon season in Bangladesh

As part of its development cooperation programme, Germany has been campaigning worldwide for some time for a comprehensive system of climate risk management that will help alleviate the growing impact of climate change. The BMZ takes a broad approach to the issue, taking in not only natural disasters and extreme weather events but also slow-moving changes, such as the rise in sea levels.

A comprehensive system of climate risk management should not be a rigid process for implementing stand-alone measures. Rather it is about cleverly combining measures to reduce emission of greenhouse gases, preventive measures for tackling climate-related or disaster-related risks through disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation measures.

Prevention and Adaptation

Risk assessment involves looking at sectors that are particularly at threat from climate change, such as farming, fisheries and water, and estimating the potential cost to those sectors, both economic and non-economic. Climate risk management also includes preventive disaster risk management measures, such as the introduction of new building regulations or land use regulations that reflect those risks. Or it may involve establishing climate-proof infrastructure, the development and improvement of early warning systems or the drawing up of emergency plans.

Coastal regions and farmland can be protected from the negative impact of climate change by helping them to adapt to those changes, for example by planting mangroves.

Adaptation measures may also include, for example, resettlement of people affected by climate change.

Tackling the risk of disasters

Soroti residents help an old woman to cross the flooded Awoja bridge, Uganda.

Even the best preventive efforts cannot entirely rule out damage being caused by extreme weather events or slow-moving changes, such as growing water scarcity or flooding of coastal regions. So comprehensive climate risk management also means considering how to respond when disasters occur. One option can be the introduction of climate risk insurance to provide a financial safety net against the damage caused by extreme weather events, which are growing more frequent and more intense as a result of climate change.

In direct insurance schemes, individuals or small businesses are insured against risks such as harvest loss or the loss of stock. They then receive immediate assistance when needed. With indirect insurance schemes, a number of countries join together to form risk pools and insure each other against climate risks. When damage occurs, they quickly receive a pay-out that can then be passed on to those in need.

The BMZ is supporting various partner countries and regions in their efforts to introduce climate risk assessment and management systems. New methods of risk assessment are being developed and tested. This enables partner countries to act on the basis of better information and to take the necessary measures to increase their resilience to climate change. The BMZ is supporting their adaptation efforts by helping to develop capacities and providing advisory services.

International cooperation

Germany is also supporting international processes in this field.

The BMZ is actively involved in the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage Associated with Climate Change Impacts (WIM) and is on its executive committee (ExCom). The WIM ExCom was established during the 19th Conference of the Parties (COP19) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw, Poland. Its aim is to promote the  "implementation  of  approaches  to  address  loss  and  damage  associated  with  the  adverse  effects  of  climate  change ... in  a  comprehensive,  integrated  and  coherent  manner".

Through its long-term development cooperation, the BMZ is working to facilitate the implementation of the Sendai Framework operated by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is doing so both at political level and also by means of bilateral and global disaster risk management projects as part of its long-term development cooperation.

In the field of climate change adaptation, the BMZ is supporting the National Adaptation Plan Global Network (NAP GP). The network coordinates support measures and also promotes international dialogue and peer learning in the field.

BMZ glossary

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