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23 Dec 2021, 12:49
Charlotte Nijhuis

Government coalition plans legal framework for climate adaptation

Tagesspiegel Background

The new German government plans to develop a legal framework for climate adaptation measures that could be a first in Europe, Kristina Thomas reports in Tagesspiegel Background. The three party coalition agreed 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  to be able to take follow-up action in good time". The parties also aim to make financing of adaptation measures a joint task of the federal and state governments. "The necessary triad is rendered as follows: This is a climate adaptation law, measurable targets and accompanying financing for the implementation of the law,” Petra Mahrenholz, head of the Competence Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation at the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), told Tagesspiegel Background. For the first time, a systemic view on climate adaptation measures has been incorporated, Mahrenholz added.

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 in July. 

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