Water scarcity and drought are among the serious consequences of climate change.

Climate change and development

Climate and development are inextricably linked. Climate change is already having severe consequences for humans and the environment, especially in developing countries. If we manage to limit global warming and adapt to climate change worldwide, then we will be able to prevent uncontrollable consequences for our planet and at the same time create new development opportunities.

Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development
Climate change is hitting the poorest countries hardest. And yet those countries are contributing next to nothing to the process of climate change. That is why climate change mitigation and adaptation are key policy focuses for the Development Ministry.
Svenja Schulze Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development

Responsibility for our planet

See also
Logo: Twitter

The BMZ Climate Channel on Twitter: @BMZ_Climate External link

All current tweets on the the climate policy activities of the BMZ

“Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy” is one of the core areas of the work of the German Development Ministry. The BMZ assists people in developing countries in making headway on climate change mitigation and dealing with the consequences of climate change. To that end, the Ministry works together with its partner countries across the world, helping to foster implementation of the Paris Agreement and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Industrialised countries like Germany are the main contributors to the already perceptible change in the climate. That is why these countries must now set a good example and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The industrialised countries have also pledged to help the developing countries and emerging economies, which are often particularly affected by climate change, in their efforts to implement the Paris targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation. These efforts will not only help to protect the climate but will also open up new opportunities for economic development and social progress in our partner countries. If the Paris Agreement is to be implemented, it is crucial that climate action is undertaken in emerging economies and developing countries too, for they now produce around two thirds of global emissions.

In concrete terms, the BMZ's activities are geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions – for example through climate-neutral energy generation, forest conservation and climate-friendly mobility – and towards adaptation to climate change – for instance through improved water resource management, climate-resilient agriculture, climate risk analyses and insurance against climate-related damage. In this way, the BMZ is contributing towards international climate financing and towards making international financial flows climate neutral.

Logo of Germany's G7 Presidency 2022
Logo of Germany's G7 Presidency 2022

Due to climate change, extreme weather events like heavy flooding or droughts are becoming increasingly more frequent. Poor and vulnerable people and countries need to get better protection against these climate-related risks. They are calling on the industrialised countries for support. The G7 countries have therefore agreed to set up a Global Shield against Climate Risks.

Logo: COP26 in Glasgow, United Kingdom

UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow

In November 2021, the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP (Conference of the Parties) 26. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) represented the German Government on many negotiation topics. In addition, the BMZ organised events together with partners, including in the German pavilion.

Still from the BMZ video "Climate change and development: The BMZ's commitment to climate policy"

The BMZ's commitment to climate policy

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Only together can we identify ambitious solutions and implement them fast enough. The BMZ supports developing countries and emerging economies with a wide range of measures and programmes to achieve their climate commitments and to protect themselves against the impacts of climate change.


Due to evaporation and periods of drought, the current drinking water supply in Tanzania is no longer secure.

Climate policy is inevitably also development policy Internal link

Should the international community fail to achieve the global climate targets, there will be far-reaching and partly irreversible consequences. What are known as “tipping points” in relation to the world's climate are on the verge of being exceeded.

Wind turbine at sunrise

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate impacts Internal link

In order to attain the global climate and development goals, what is needed above all is a transition to a largely decarbonised economy.

The then French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius - President of the COP21 climate conference - bangs down the gavel after representatives of 196 countries adopted a far-reaching climate agreement during the UN Climate Change Conference at Le Bourget airport in Paris, France, 12 December 2015.

Implementing the Paris Agreement Internal link

Climate change can only be kept within manageable limits if we systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Any delay in taking action to protect the climate will make future action more difficult and drive up costs.

BMZ initiatives

Still from the video

The NDC Partnership

Video: In order to support developing countries to implement their climate and development goals effectively and quickly, there is the so-called NDC Partnership. It was initiated by Germany together with Morocco and the World Resources Institute.

The BMZ assists developing countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the consequences of climate change with a view to implementing international climate and development goals. To that end, a number of climate initiatives of international significance have been launched and supported by the BMZ and its partners.

They include the NDC Partnership, which seeks to help countries implement, and increase the ambition of, their Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement, and the InsuResilience Global Partnership for climate risk insurance. The BMZ also supports the expansion of renewable energy generation and reforestation in Africa, and forest conservation worldwide. Other BMZ initiatives focus on sustainable urban transport and climate-neutral transport.

During its G7 Presidency, Germany has made a start on developing a Global Shield against Climate Risks, a move which has been unanimously supported by the G7. The Shield gathers activities in the field of climate risk finance and preparedness together under one roof.

Another way in which the BMZ is combining development and climate action measures involves the voluntary offsetting of emissions by non-governmental entities, for example enterprises. By creating the Development and Climate Alliance (External link) in 2018, the BMZ provided a platform for such efforts. In 2020, the Alliance was converted into a foundation with its own governing board. The Alliance already has more than 900 supporters who are striving to become climate neutral by avoiding or reducing emissions and offsetting any remainder.

The BMZ itself is also setting a good example: at the end of 2019, the BMZ became the first federal ministry that counts as climate neutral. For a detailed description of our path to climate neutrality, see our report “Klimaneutrales BMZ 2020” (in German) on making the BMZ climate neutral by 2020.

Areas addressed by the BMZ in the field of climate

Meeting room of the international donor conference of the Green Climate Fund, hosted by the German government in Berlin on 20 November 2014.

Climate finance Internal link

Financing measures for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to the consequences of climate change

A worker checks a solar installation on a roof in Santiago de Chile.

NDC Partnership Internal link

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris climate agreement.

Flooding in Mozambique
Solar panels of a solar power plant in Ouarzazate, Morocco

Energy and climate Internal link

Working for a global energy transition and access to energy for all

Road traffic in Berlin, numerous cars driving closely packed on a multi-lane road

Cities and climate Internal link

Development of sustainable urban infrastructure, promotion of climate-friendly mobility and establishment of an urban waste and circular economy

Ethiopian nomads who have settled in a village in the Somali region of Ethiopia due to persistent drought.

Migration and climate Internal link

Assistance for people displaced by climate change

Moorland in Europe

Climate and biodiversity Internal link

Biodiversity conservation is one of the keys to success in climate change mitigation and in adapting to the consequences of climate change.

“Responsibility for our planet – climate and energy” BMZ Core Area Strategy

Cover core area strategy energy and climate

BMZ Core area strategy: Responsibility for Our Planet – Climate and Energy

BMZ Paper 6

File type PDF | Date of status 07/2021 | File size 578 KB, Pages 37 Pages

Fighting global warming and supporting adaptation to climate change have long been important areas of Germany's development policy. The BMZ's Core Area Strategy on “Responsibility for Our Planet – Climate and Energy” provides a framework for the BMZ’s activities in this field. The Core Area Strategy is the pilot strategy for the BMZ 2030” reform process, in which the BMZ defined five long-term “core areas” on which it will concentrate.

It focuses on approaches that support the social, environmental and economic transformation that is needed to achieve the 1.5 degree target and the goals of the 2030 Agenda. Through strategic cooperation on climate action with selected partner countries, the BMZ wants to achieve a new quality of cooperation.

The Core Area Strategy deepens the BMZ's approach in three areas of intervention:

1. Climate change mitigation and adaptation

In the first area of intervention “Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation” the BMZ supports the definition and implementation of ambitious mitigation targets in our partner countries, for example by reducing subsidies for fossil fuels and introducing socially equitable CO2 prices. In addition, the BMZ works in particular with the most vulnerable countries on measures to promote adaptation to climate change and boost their resilience.

2. Renewable energy and energy efficiency

In the second area of intervention – “Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” – the BMZ aims to meet rapidly rising energy demand in a climate-neutral way. To that end, the energy sector is to become completely independent from coal, gas and oil by 2050. Together with its partner countries and the international donor community, the BMZ aims, by 2030, to give populations in its partner countries access to a needs-based energy supply which is to be drawn fully from renewable sources.

3. Sustainable urban development

The objective of German development policy in the third area of intervention – “Sustainable Urban Development” – is to contribute to sustainable, climate-neutral, resilient and liveable cities. To that end, the BMZ assists its partners in pursuing integrated approaches in order to ensure, from the earliest possible point, that urban growth is climate-friendly and resource-friendly.

The BMZ also systematically promotes environmentally sustainable and climate-compatible development in other relevant sectors, in particular in relation to nutrition systems, forest conservation, biodiversity and water. The relevant strategies and their relevance to the issue of climate change are explained in the respective core area strategies, in particular in the core areas “Protecting Life on Earth – The Environment and Natural Resources” and “A World Without Hunger”.

BMZ factsheets

Cover: A Global Shield against Climate Risks: Germany’s G7 proposal for tackling climate-related losses and damages in developing countries

A Global Shield against Climate Risks

Germany’s G7 proposal for tackling climate-related losses and damages in developing countries

File type PDF | Date of status 07/2022 | File size 810 KB, Pages 6 Pages | Accessibility Accessible
cover bmz climate policy contribution

Climate change and development

The BMZ's climate policy contribution

File type PDF | Date of status 11/2021 | File size 200 KB, Pages 2 Pages
Cover Adaptation to climate change

Adaptation to climate change

Successful management of the risks and impacts of climate change

File type PDF | Date of status 11/2021 | File size 324 KB, Pages 2 Pages
cover green recovery

Green recovery

File type PDF | Date of status 11/2021 | File size 392 KB, Pages 2 Pages

The BMZ Climate Factsheets provide a compact overview of the BMZ's climate policy engagement.