Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Comparing Climate Impact Assessments for Rural Adaptation Planning in Germany and the Netherlands

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Abstract:  The consensus nowadays is that there is a need to adapt to increasingly occurring climate impacts by means of adaptation plans. However, only a minority of European cities has an approved climate adaptation plan by now. To support stakeholder dialogue and decision-making processes in climate adaptation planning, a detailed spatial information and evidence base in terms of a climate impact assessment is needed. This article aims to compare the climate impact assessment done in the context of two regional climate change adaptation planning processes in a Dutch and a German region. To do so, a comparison of guidelines and handbooks, methodological approaches, available data, and resulting maps and products is conducted. Similarities and differences between the two approaches with a particular focus on the input and output of such analysis are identified and both processes are assessed using a set of previously defined quality criteria. Both studies apply a similar conceptualisation of climate impacts and focus strongly on issues concerning their visualisation and communication. At the same time, the methods of how climate impacts are calculated and mapped are quite different. The discussion and conclusion section highlights the need to systematically consider climatic and socio-economic changes when carrying out a climate impact assessment, to focus on a strong visualisation of results for different stakeholder groups, and to link the results to planning processes and especially funding opportunities.

Keywords:  adaptation; climate change; Germany; impact assessment; stress test; the Netherlands



© Juliane Wright, Johannes Flacke, Jörg Peter Schmitt, Jürgen Schultze, Stefan Greiving. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.