Even with a successful climate protection strategy a short-term reduction of the expected climate change is not possible. There is therefore an urgent demand for society, economy and politics to develop new and improved methods for climate change adaptation. In the future, this will be one of most important tasks dealing with climate change. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is furthering the development of innovative approaches to climate change adaptation with a funding activity "KLIMZUG".

Climate change is happening. We have to deal with it. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF) is funding the research priority "KLIMZUG – Managing climate change in the regions for the future". The objective of KLIMZUG is the development of innovative strategies for adaptation to climate change and related weather extremes in regions. Here, the anticipated changes in climate shall be integrated in processes of regional planning and development. The funding activity particularly stresses the regional aspect since global problems such as climate change must be tackled by measures at regional and local level. The future competitiveness of regions, also in a changing climate, must ensured. Also, KLIMZUG is meant to advance the development and use of new technologies, procedures and strategies for adapting to climate change in the regions.

KLIMZUG contributes especially to the German High-Tech Strategy on Climate Protection as well as to the German National Adaptation Strategy. It also complements BMBF’s first funding activity on research and development of measures to deal with climate change "Research for climate protection and protection from climate impacts" (klimazwei).

KLIMZUG adopts network development in regions and their implementation as a main instrument. Regional cooperation networks are intended to pool the scientific, planning, technical and entrepreneurial strengths of the stakeholders involved in a region and to actively establish structures for a new, state-of-the-art approach to managing climate change. The networks are meant to exist and to evolve on a long term basis and thus to strengthen the competitive advantages for future climate conditions.

The successful implementation of measures for climate change adaptation on a regional level is highly dependent on the commitment of local citizens. For that reason, KLIMZUG emphasizes also on educational and capacity building aspects.

In addition, partner regions throughout the world may cooperate with the KLIMZUG activities in order to ensure the international transfer of the know-how. Germany thus accentuates its role as a pacesetter and driving force as well as its scientific competence for developing suitable adaptation measures in an international context. At the same time, KLIMZUG makes use of both traditional and modern know-how of the partner regions, some of which may already live and manage their affairs under climatic and weather conditions which are forecasted for Germany in the longer term.

Specific emphasis is set on the integration of up-to-date knowledge on climate (especially future climate scenarios) as basis for the adaptation measures developed under KLIMZUG. Support on this item is given by the German Climate Service Center (CSC) which was established in summer 2009.

KLIMZUG is accompanied by an international advisory board giving advice on the implementation of KLIMZUG’s main goals, such as the research process itself, networking activities etc. An accompanying project identifies transferable aspects of research activities as well as transregional needs regarding climate change adaptation. Moreover, it tackles the aspect that developed solutions are disseminated to manifold stakeholders.