Adapting to climate change

© GIZ/Thomas Imo

Developing and emerging countries are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. GIZ supports partner countries in increasing their adaptation capacity and resilience.

TheThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns against the serious consequences of climate change. With the Paris Agreement of 2015, the international community has made a binding commitment for the first time to reduce global warming to well below two degrees or even to 1.5 degrees, if possible. However, climate change is already taking place, so people, ecosystems, infrastructure, investments, etc. need to be adapted to the consequences. Potential damage and losses caused by floods, storms, droughts, heat waves and thus the vulnerability of people and ecosystems should be foreseen and reduced through adaptation measures.

In particular, developing and emerging countries suffer from the consequences of climate change. Strengthening the adaptive capacity of these countries is therefore at the heart of GIZ's commitment in the area of adaptation to climate change - not only in the face of the above-mentioned climate-change-induced weather extremes, but also in the face of climate-induced slow-onset changes such as rising temperatures, increasing water shortages and rising sea levels. Besides climate protection, adaptation is anchored as an equally important goal of the Paris Agreement. The volume of the adaptation portfolio implemented by GIZ is just below 50% of all climate-relevant projects and reflects the importance of adaptation.

However, adaptation also means exploiting the potentials of climate change, for example by making agricultural production more attractive to changed climatic conditions or by developing regions for tourism which have not been climatically attractive for tourism to date. 

In this context, it is essential to systematically and comprehensively consider the consequences of climate change in all areas of society. Adaptation measures must always be taken into account together with sustainable and just development. National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) are the internationally recognised instrument for identifying, prioritising and implementing necessary adaptation measures – based on climate risk analyses. The goal is a transformation towards a climate-friendly and climate-resilient society and economy that ensures that no one is left behind.  The Paris Agreement can only be fulfilled if all relevant actors - states, local governments, civil society and business - work closely together. In addition, the industrialised countries need to support developing countries financially and in terms of knowledge and technology transfer. Germany, together with other states, development banks and multilateral organizations, has launched several initiatives in developing countries to implement the Paris Agreement:

  • The global "NDC Partnership" promotes the coordinated implementation of national contributions in the areas of mitigation and adaptation. It consists of over 160 members, so far.
  • The “National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network” promotes national adaptation planning through consultation, exchange and coordination of donor programmes.
  • The “InsuResilience Initiative” aims to provide an additional 500 million poor people with access to insurance against extreme weather events by 2025.

In addition to the international initiatives mentioned above, GIZ also supports bilateral partner countries in the field of adaptation to climate change on behalf of the German Federal Government, the EU, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other donors. GIZ's most important client in the field of climate is the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, 71% of the order book in 2018). For BMZ and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), GIZ implements adaptation projects with a volume of € 1.099 billion (order backlog 2018).

The most important sectors in which adaptation measures are being implemented are agriculture (approx. € 300 million), biodiversity / environmental protection (approx. € 150 million), water / wastewater / waste (approx. € 130 million) and policy advice (NAP) (approx. € 130 million). The regional focus is on Sub-Saharan Africa, followed by global initiatives and Latin America/Caribbean and Asia/Pacific. GIZ advisory services to governments, business and civil society in the partner countries focus on comprehensive climate risk management, cross-sectoral analysis and planning and the financing of adaptation measures, including climate risk insurance.