27 May 2022, 14:00
Sören Amelang

Making Germany’s forests climate-resilient will cost 50 billion euros - forestry industry

Die Zeit

Following massive damages in Germany’s forests due to extreme weather, the country’s forestry industry has called for long-term support for making woodlands more climate-resilient. Between 2018 and 2021, extreme weather events such as droughts, widely seen as a consequence of climate change, caused damage worth a combined 15 billion euros, said the German Forestry Council (DFWR), which represents the country’s forestry industry, according to a report in Die Zeit. The association said it was concerned about the ever-shorter intervals between extreme weather events, with consequences such as fires, mass reproduction of insects, and a general weakening of trees. The adaptation of forests will cost an estimated 50 billion euros, said DFWR president Georg Schirmbeck. “This is necessary so that the forests can continue to fulfil their function as CO2 reservoirs.

"The development of climate-resilient mixed forests with heat-resistant tree species takes time and will not be completed in this legislative period. That is why we need long-term funding," Schirmbeck said. Last week, Germany’s agriculture minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) announced support payments worth 200 million euros for climate protection and biodiversity in forests. Schirmbeck said this was a positive signal, but added at least one billion euros per year will be needed for transforming existing forests and reforestation. The impact of changing climate conditions on Germany's forest has become an increasing cause for concern in the country over the past years as a string of exceptionally hot and dry summers has inflicted great damage.

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