09 Sep 2019, 13:32
Benjamin Wehrmann

Over 40 percent of Germans worried climate change will have “dramatic” consequences

Clean Energy Wire

Many people in Germany are worried that rising global temperatures will have a "dramatic" impact on human life. In a long-term study by insurance company R+V, 41 percent of respondents said they fear the consequences of climate change and extreme weather events like droughts, heat waves and torrential rain associated with it. "Environmental and climate topics have been troubling Germans for years, long before the Fridays for Future protest movement started," said Manfred G. Schmidt, a political scientist and advisor of the insurance company. While the general level of fears in R+V's "Germans' Angst Study 2019" has dropped to the lowest level in 25 years, climate concerns are still high on the agenda, Schmidt said, adding that fears over global warming posed a "challenge at the rational and at the emotional level" that could not simply be solved by technical interventions. The list of concerns in the R+V study is dominated by fears over immigration, the state's inability to cope with today's problems, rising costs of living and tensions in national and international politics.

Environmental protests have long been a decisive feature of German politics, starting with the anti-nuclear movement in the 1970s and continuing today with the strong support many in the country lend to climate protesters. However, while many Germans say the 2018 heat wave and drought have led them to consider climate action as a political priority, the country is struggling to meet its own emission reduction objectives while emission-intensive goods like heavy vehicles or services like short-distance flights enjoy growing popularity in the country.

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