Germany needs human rights-based climate adaptation policy – advisors
Clean Energy Wire
Germany must improve precautionary and adaptation measures against the negative impacts of climate change in order to fulfil its human rights obligations, said the German Institute for Human Rights in a report. “It is good that the federal government is clearly committed to climate protection and has already initiated measures in climate and energy policy,” said the institute’s director Beate Rudolf. “However, more precautionary and adaptation measures are needed and, above all, measures that are appropriate from a human rights perspective, as well as a nationwide climate adaptation law.” She added that a landmark ruling by Germany’s constitutional court in 2021 had shown that the state has the obligation to protect the people from the impacts of climate change. Climate change affects especially the rights to life; health; food, water and housing; work; education; and private and family life, said the report. Recommendations by the institute include ensuring better data on the effects of climate change in Germany’s regions and communities, informing vulnerable groups of society about their specific risks, and concrete adaptation targets for relevant sectors such as housing, water supply and health.
In their coalition agreement, the government parties SPD, Green Party and FDP had said they aim to introduce a climate adaptation law for Germany. It is meant to create a framework for developing a national climate adaptation strategy with measurable targets, for example in the fields of heat prevention, allergy prevention, health, and water infrastructure. The Institute for Human Rights reports to the German parliament and drafts statements for national and international courts as well as international human rights bodies.