GoCoase- Governing climate change adaptation at the Baltic Sea Coast

Start of Project 08/2018
End of Project 12/2021

In GoCoase, climate change adaptation strategies for the German Baltic Sea coast in Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania are developed and evaluated in close cooperation with decision-makers. The project provides information on how individuals and decision-makers evaluate different coastal protection measures and weigh the costs and benefits of adaptation options. GoCoase will analyse possible institutional change due to climate adaptation challenges and discuss the assessment results with decision makers. The involvement of stakeholders in coastal protection strategies will also be analysed.

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Project results

The results show that...

  • the costs of adaptation measures for society are lower than the benefits.
  • adaptation options on the coast are valued differently by the population.
  • the financing of adaptation measures by all German citizens (42%) meets with greater approval than financing by the coastal states alone (32%).
  • the willingness to pay for higher dikes increases in uncertain times, while it tends to be lower for the other attributes.
  • in the evaluation of different adaptation paths, the scenario that places an emphasis on nature with the relocation of dikes and dunes has the highest economic efficiency.

Illustration of project results

The analysis of the survey data identified three groups of people with different preferences. One group (23 % of the sample) has no positive appreciation for coastal adaptation to climate change. People in this group are not willing to pay for adaptation strategies. The second group (39 % of the sample) are willing to pay for an increase in dyke height only. Whereas the third group (38 % of the sample) prefers extensive changes. People in this group would be willing to pay for wider beaches, higher dykes, more cliff protection, as well as, for example, managed realignment of dykes and dunes for the creation of new habitats for animal and plant species.

Main Findings

  • The challenge of adapting to climate change is to meet multiple de­mands with scarce resources.
  • Not all conflicting interests will be re­solved by con­sensus.
  • This makes it all the more important to have com­prehensive know­ledge about climate change adap­tation options, including eco­nomic know­ledge.


Meyerhoff, J., Rehdanz, K., Wunsch, A. (2021):
Preferences for coastal adaptation to climate change: evidence from a choice experiment. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy 10 (4): 374-390.

Rehdanz, K., Meyerhoff, J., Wunsch, A. (Hrsg.) (2022):
Ökonomie des Klimawandels: Eine Bewertung von Anpassungsoptionen für die Küste von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Coastline Reports 28.

van den Hurk, B., Bisaro, A., Haasnoot, M., Nicholls, R. J., Rehdanz, K., Stuparu, D. (2022):
Living with sea-level rise in North-West Europe: science-policy challenges across scales, Climate Risk Management. Climate Risk Management 35: 100403.

Wunsch, A., Meyerhoff, J., Rehdanz, K. (2022):
A test-retest analysis of stated prefer-ences in uncertain times. Economic Analysis and Policy 73: 725-736.