Adaptation to the impacts of climate change includes protecting society and the environment from climate impacts, reducing vulnerability of society and ecosystems, and increasing adaptation capacity. With the German Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change (DAS), the Federal Government provides the framework. The German Government published the progress report on the DAS at the end of 2015, which highlighted the vulnerabilities and needs for action for Germany. It identified the most significant climate impacts in the fields of action of the DAS as well as the thematic and spatial priorities of vulnerability.
Natural hazards and their change in intensity and frequency due to climate change are a major factor in Germany’s vulnerability. They can lead to high economic and business losses. These losses and damage caused by the consequences of climate change threaten both the state and the private sector. The Paris Climate Accord enshrines the handling of loss and damage in a separate article. By establishing initiatives for climate risk insurance (CRI), companies and states are to be protected against climate-related damage. Risk diversification and personal provision measures are generally regarded as sensible and strengthen adaptation capacity. However, implementation in the state and the economy in Germany has not yet been examined in detail.
The first part of the project, which has a more macroeconomic focus, addresses existing CRI policies in a wide variety of countries, their respective advantages and disadvantages and the pros and cons of transferability to Germany. In a second, more business-oriented part, entrepreneurial reporting mechanisms (e.g. CSR reporting obligation, Carbon Disclosure Project, TCFD) and management systems (e.g. EMAS) with a focus on climate risks will be analysed and their current implementation and applicability by German companies examined. As a result, the project will work out proposals for improved climate risk reporting and for the further development of existing instruments, as well as point out options for action by the federal government. Thirdly, it is to be investigated how the German/European financial industry could systematically or case-related take into account climate risks and resilience of a project in its activities (e.g. lending, investment activities), or how it could better take them into account in order to act as an intermediary in order to achieve greater adaptation in the real economy. The current EU and nationwide Sustainable Finance activities must also be taken into account. Finally, good practice case studies will be used to investigate how companies are already implementing risk analyses and adaptation aspects in reporting and management systems and how they are making them public.