Climate Change in the Rhine-Neckar Region

The innovative project climate-fit (klimafit) was presented to a broad and mixed audience in Heidelberg in the context of a matinee. The WWF, REKLIM and the Klaus Tschira Foundation hosted a discussion on the regional effects of climate change.

At 11 am on 27 January 2019, the ‘Mathematics Informatics Station’ (MAINS), Kurfürsten-Anlage 52 in Heidelberg, hosted the event “Making Heidelberg a Climate Hotspot”. In an open dialogue with interested citizens, the event addressed the question: what does climate change have to do with Heidelberg and the local region? Changes in this region have become increasingly apparent over the past several years: extended hot and dry periods, and heavy rains that flood streets and basements alike, are just a few of the phenomena produced by our changing climate. The matinee was jointly moderated by Prof Peter Braesicke, Scientific Coordinator of the Helmholtz Climate Initiative Regional Climate Change (REKLIM) and a Professor at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); Marco Vollmar, Executive Director of Communication and Campaigns at the WWF Germany; and Tina Harms, an educational expert and project coordinator for the community college course ‘climate-fit’ (‘klimafit’) at the WWF. The event attracted a large audience and led to a lively discussion among those in attendance.

One of the event’s goals was to raise awareness for the climate-fit (klimafit) course at the community college in Heidelberg, one of the sites in the second project phase, which involved its being offered in 16 cities in Northern, Northeast and Southwest Germany (you can find more information here).  In six evening sessions, participants are introduced to the fundamentals of climate change and its impacts, especially on their home region, using a scientifically sound, engaging and interactive format. In addition, the course shows which regional climate protection and adaptation measures are desperately needed, and offers concrete guidance on how to take on an active role in climate protection and network with others.
What awaits participants in the innovative and interactive course (more information on the course content here):

  • Six course modules, led by local / regional figures
  • Presentations, live chats, and digital sessions with experts from the Helmholtz Climate Initiative Regional Climate Change (REKLIM) and other regional climate researchers
  • Local experts on site to help answer participants’ questions and coordinate networking opportunities between participants and experts
  • The use of technology-based, digital elements (VHS-Cloud, MOOC).

This unique course was jointly developed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Helmholtz Climate Initiative Regional Climate Change (REKLIM). Participants receive a certificate that qualifies them as honorary climate protection multipliers. The course is sponsored by the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Klaus Tschira Foundation.

You can find further information on climate-fit (klimafit) at: or