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29 Jul 2021, 13:35
Charlotte Nijhuis

German env min calls for climate damage register, Greens present resilience plan

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s environment ministry wants to start systematically collecting data about damage caused by climate change in a register, following the recent devastating floods that hit the south of the country. Environment state secretary Jochen Flasbarth said in a statement: "Germany urgently needs a better knowledge base on the damage and costs of climate change. The recent severe weather catastrophe has made this clear to us. But it is not always easy to determine what we are really facing today: Climate impacts are complex, studies often only look at a section of reality, information flows between relevant bodies are not sufficiently established.” The register, which is being developed by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), will help forecast potential damage and expected costs of extreme weather events caused by climate change, helping to determine which precautionary measures need to be taken, Flasbarth said.

On the same day, the Green Party presented a climate resilience plan to help Germany prepare for extreme weather events in the future. “Precaution must become the guiding principle of a new politics,” write co-leader Robert Habeck, parliamentary party leader Anton Hofreiter and deputy parliamentary party leader Oliver Krischer. The Greens, like the ministry, call for the systematic recording of damages and risks in a climate damage register. The party also wants to see investments in a climate precaution fund of 25 billion euros over the next ten years, as well as a redefinition of the relationship with nature and a closer look at the health impacts of extreme weather events, such as heatwaves. The plan follows a press conference by party co-leader and chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock on 26 July, when the party called for the establishment of a central office for disaster management, among other things.

Following the floods that killed over 180 people in Germany, politicians have called for investments in climate adaption measures to better prepare cities for extreme weather events to come. Chancellor Angela Merkel also called for more attention to be paid to adaptation, saying: “A comprehensive analysis is necessary of what needs to be adapted in flood protection, agriculture and forestry.”

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