Topic 7: Risk analysis and risk management for integrated climate strategies

(UFZ, HZG, KIT, Europa-Universität Viadrina, University Hamburg)

The key questions addressed of topic 7 are:

What risks are related to regional climate change and climate variability and how can they be assessed? How can climate communication be improved based on the analysis of regional and cultural factors? What role does and should science play in supporting decision-makers on the regional level to address, communicate and negotiate climate related risks? How do regional and cultural factors influence public perception of climate change and climate related risks? How can mitigation and adaptation conceptually be connected and used to fill the gap between international and regional climate negotiations?

The social and economic analysis of integrated climate change strategies still holds large theoretical and methodological research gaps and considerable uncertainties as there are many different interdependencies between mitigation and adaptation and social, economic and natural factors which require thorough analysis and assessment. Climate change mitigation and adaptation can relate to each other through synergies or conflicts, and they must be coherently connected to other environmental, social and economic policies. Policies are social discourses, based on negotiation processes, which are culturally embedded. Cultural perception research and the analysis of negotiation processes, which are not least shaped by the media, are of great significance in this context as they are main drivers of and for the public perception of climate change. Studies of risk perception and awareness and policy coherence are important conditions for consistent adaptation and mitigation strategies. The investigation of economic and scientific approaches must therefore be merged with socio-cultural analyses in global and regional contexts. For this to be done, topic 7 explores the following key research issues:

  • Analysis of the public perception of climate change and natural hazards on a regional scale

  •  Development of a regional and integrated flood risk management

  •  Integrated risk assessment and improvement of communication strategies for local risk management and adaptation strategies in urban areas

  •  Methodological and theoretical synthesis for developing tools for a regionally grounded adaptation to climate change

  • Analysis of the negotiation of adaptation and mitigation policies in international negotiations

Contact Topic 7

Prof. Dr. Reimund Schwarze
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ)
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig
E-Mail: reimund.schwarze(at)

Prof. Dr. Beate Ratter
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung
Max-Planck-Strasse 1
D-21502 Geesthacht
E-mail: beate.ratter(at)

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Peters
Europa-Universität Viadrina
Projekt RECAP 15
Große Scharrnstraße 59
15230 Frankfurt (Oder)
E-mail: peters(at)