Skip to content


Climate change adaptation

Coastal protection

Flood prevention

The Danish Government presents plan to ramp up climate adaptation

In response to the urgent need for protecting coastal areas, cities, homes, and infrastructure against the consequences of climate change, the Danish Government presents a new plan to ramp up national climate adaptation.

As a flat country with thousands of kilometres of coastline and countless islands, Denmark is particularly vulnerable when seawater and groundwater rise as a result of climate change.

Foreseeing an escalation in extreme weather conditions, the Danish Government seeks to help municipalities and landowners boost local efforts as part of the Climate Adaptation Plan 1.

With a total of EUR 174m (DKK 1.3 bn), the proposed plan aims at fast-tracking initiatives to secure Danish coasts, cities, homes, and infrastructure against rising sea levels and future storms:

“We have just witnessed violent images from large parts of Denmark, where a storm surge has washed over us from the east. Several places with water levels at the height of 100-year events. Dikes have collapsed and houses, shops, and roads have been washed away or flooded. It is essential that we protect ourselves better against the bodies of water, and it is precisely this task that we are now tackling with Climate Adaptation Plan 1. We do so by addressing the structural problems for which the municipalities have called for a solution, and then we accelerate projects that protect Denmark against flooding,” Magnus Heunicke, the Danish Minister for the Environment

Amongst others, the Danish Government’s proposed plan for climate adaptation includes:

State involvement in exposed areas by the sea

Across the country, municipalities are taking steps to protect against flooding from the sea. In other places, a long road remains ahead.

The state must, therefore, help with coastal protection in six of the areas where damage costs are greatest and threat levels are highest.

The state will offer professional help to the municipalities by i.e., choosing a technical solution, drawing up a payment model, financial calculations, or environmental assessments, depending on how far the municipalities are in the project phases and what they need assistance with.

A solution to the challenges of high groundwater levels

The groundwater table has risen by up to one meter over the past 30 years.

Today, approximately 450,000 homes have less than one meter to the groundwater table for most of the year.

As something new, the Danish Government will provide municipalities the responsibility for handling high-level groundwater and enable wastewater companies to create collective solutions in areas where it pays off for society.

It is a solution that both municipalities and wastewater companies have called for, and which will help vulnerable landowners.

Increase of the coastal protection fund

To speed up climate adaptation, the Danish Government will increase its coastal protection fund in 2024 by EUR 20m (DKK 150m). The municipalities can apply for joint coastal protection projects throughout the country and the establishment or strengthening of dykes in the Wadden Sea.

Protection of Denmark’s west coast

The Danish west coast is particularly exposed to flooding, coastal retreat, and erosion.

More than EUR 133m (DKK 1bn) have been proposed to be set aside to protect the west coast through beach nourishment and investments in critical facilities on the Danish west coast.

Danish climate adaptation

  • The Danish coastal protection varies depending on the location in the country. For instance, the Øresund Tunnel is adapted to the climate with dikes and a concrete wall, while large parts of the west coast are protected by beach nourishment.
  • The Danish Government and the parties behind the Finance Act for 2023 have decided to allocate EUR 25m (DKK 189.6m) to a warning system for floods.
  • According to the screening tool, Kystplanlægger, the potential damage costs of 100-year events in 2020 are i.e., EUR 594m (DKK 3.7bn) in Esbjerg, EUR 174m (1.3bn) in Vejle, and EUR 133 (DKK 1bn) in Aalborg.

To read the official press release visit: The government is ready with its proposal for Climate Adaptation Plan 1 (Danish article)

You should consider reading

Climate change adaptation
Coastal protection
Flood prevention


Climate change adaptation


Water for smart liveable cities

1 August 2022
How rethinking urban water management can transform cities of the future


Urban planning and development


Aalborg prepares to host international conference on sustainable cities

10 May 2024
In October, over 1,000 politicians and civil servants from across Europe will gather in Aalborg to discuss how European municipalities can best support the green and sustainable transition.


Energy efficiency in buildings


Explore Denmark's journey to decarbonise and energy optimise its buildings

21 June 2023
With a holistic approach, Denmark is on a journey towards decarbonising its buildings. Get an introduction to the green policies and energy-efficient cases that pave the way for greener building stock.