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24 Mar 2022, 12:26
Jessica Bateman

Government announces emergency climate adaptation programme

Clean Energy Wire

Germany's environment ministry has launched a plan for immediate action on climate change adaptation. In a press release, the ministry said it will be supporting municipalities around the country with funding, building expertise, providing tailored advice and educating citizens. "Many municipalities have already begun to adapt infrastructure and society at the local level to future climatic conditions,” minister Steffi Lemke said. “They are therefore key players in the adaptation process." Measaures under the programme for example include a mentoring programme for adaptation managers, better protection of at-risk groups, better protection against heat through heat action plans, and they enable municipalities to hire specialists to develop adaptation concepts on site and help with their implementation. "With the Emergency Climate Adaptation Programme, we are taking the first, urgently needed step," Lemke said, adding that he latest IPCC report had reinforced the need for immediate action on adaptation . Further steps will follow in the shape of a Climate Adaptation Act, a new, precautionary adaptation strategy and a National Water Strategy and a Natural Climate Action Programme.

Germany has had a climate adaptation strategy in place since 2008, but the implementation of adaptation measures has been mostly voluntary – unlike on the side of mitigation, where the Climate Action Law sets binding emissions reduction targets for each sector on the road to reaching climate neutrality by 2045. In some German states, climate adaptation is anchored in the climate action law. North-Rhine Westphalia, a state that was hit heavily by the floods during the summer of 2021, was the first to introduce a climate adaptation law.

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