01 Sep 2022, 12:12
Julian Wettengel

Germany presents €4bn programme for natural climate action

Clean Energy Wire

The German government has presented a draft action programme worth 4 billion euros over the coming four years for moorland protection, forest projects and other natural climate action measures. With the programme, the government aims to strengthen ecosystems to help both nature and climate protection, the environment ministry said. “I want to strengthen nature so that it can help us in the climate crisis,” environment minister Steffi Lemke said. “Forests and floodplains, soils and moors, seas and bodies of water, near-natural green spaces in the city and in the countryside: they all bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it long-term.” Due to global warming, living conditions are changing faster than ecosystems can adapt, the ministry said. In addition, drained peatlands, for example, release large amounts of carbon as greenhouse gases they previously accumulated and stored over thousands of years within a short period of time.

Lemke had presented key points of the programme earlier this year. The ruling government coalition of the SPD, the Greens and the FDP parties had promised the package in their coalition agreement. By 2026, 4 billion euros will be available for 64 measures in ten areas of natural climate protection.

NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) welcomed the draft programme. “With four billion euros, the programme has the potential to initiate the urgently needed turnaround in climate and nature protection in Germany,” it said. According to DUH, the focus on the renaturation of rivers, some lesser-known coastal and marine habitats, such as salt marshes and seagrass beds, and the rewetting of dried-up peatlands are particularly commendable goals.

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