Construction of a embankment on the banks of the Mayur River in the town of Khulna in south-western Bangladesh

Climate change and development Adaptation to climate change impacts

Climate change threatens countless people’s livelihoods – and this threat will increase further in future. For that reason, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is not only funding climate change mitigation measures; it is also supporting its partner countries in adapting to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.

Glacier in Iceland

Adaptation of lifestyles and economies to the impacts of global warming is enshrined as a key objective in the Paris Agreement alongside climate change mitigation. However, the poorest countries, in particular, lack the financial resources and capacities to implement urgently needed reforms and thus build their resilience on their own. As a result, climate change is reversing the development progress achieved in many parts of the world and puts future development prospects at risk.

Industrialised countries such as Germany have pledged to support climate change adaptation in the developing countries and emerging economies, for example by providing funding or knowledge and technology transfer.

At international level and through bilateral and regional cooperation, Germany is committed to building the resilience of communities, habitats, ecosystems and economies to climate change impacts and hence to preventing loss and damage.

BMZ activities

The BMZ is involved in a diverse range of activities:

  • Integrated climate risk management: Analysing and assessing climate risks, producing climate risk analyses and climate risk profiles for selected countries, developing and implementing appropriate strategies and measures
  • Climate risk protection and prevention: Establishing early warning systems, restructuring existing climate and disaster risk financing into a Global Shield against Climate Risks to provide swift and straightforward access to assistance and financial resources during disasters
  • Strengthening frameworks: Progressing adaptation planning, building the capacities of public authorities and scientific bodies, integrating knowledge and capital from private sources
  • Food security: Creating low-carbon, resilient agricultural and food systems in order to safeguard food availability and access at local, regional and global level
  • Water security: Reducing water losses, promoting water reuse and storage, protecting and renewing groundwater resources, developing water use plans
  • Infrastructure: Establishing critical infrastructures that can withstand extreme weather events and ongoing climatic and environmental changes, promoting climate-resilient urban planning
  • Utilising the potential of climate change: Adapting agriculture to changing production conditions (for example cultivation of new varieties), developing new regions for tourism, promoting agroecology, nature-based solutions (NbS) and ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA)
  • Climate and development partnerships: Targeted cooperation with selected partner countries in order to link the goals of climate neutrality, climate resilience, economic development and social justice (green and just transition)
  • Ownership: Promoting key initiatives by the developing countries and emerging economies, for example the Vulnerable Twenty (External link) (V20) Group, Africa Adaptation Initiative (External link) (AAI), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (External link) (CDRI)

Financing the measures

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

In order to meet the high demand for funding for climate change adaptation, Germany aims to achieve an appropriate balance in its provision of financial resources for mitigation and adaptation.

Most of this funding directly benefits the partner countries, for example their agriculture, water, urban and rural development sectors. In addition, Germany is firmly committed to making its contribution to the climate financing targets set out in the Paris Agreement and has announced that it will provide six billion euros annually for climate financing by 2025.

This investment is paying off: the long-term benefits greatly exceed the short-term financial input. Without adaptation strategies, the estimated costs of damage will be up to 10 times greater than the investment costs. By contrast, the costs of infrastructure projects that have climate resilience built in from the outset are only three per cent higher on average.

Areas of work

Flooded roads and paths in Gonaives, Haiti, after hurricane Tomas passed through the area
Logo: Global Shield against Climate Risks
Wind turbines in South Africa
Flooding on the Philippines
Road traffic in Berlin, numerous cars driving closely packed on a multi-lane road
Drip irrigation on a field in Ethiopia
Ethiopian nomads who have settled in a village in the Somali region of Ethiopia due to persistent drought.
Moorland in Europe

As at: 20/10/2022