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08 Jul 2019, 13:28
Julian Wettengel

Recurring extreme weather events show Germany must review climate change adaptation strategy – Merkel

Clean Energy Wire

Germany must review its climate change adaptation strategy as an early heatwave this year has shown that extreme weather events happen more frequently, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her weekly video podcast. In terms of mitigation, the country seeks to reach its climate targets through the landmark Energiewende project and plans to present additional measures to reach 2030 climate targets in autumn, said Merkel. “However, an additional challenge is to adapt to already existing climate change,” said Merkel. In order to provide climate change adaptation in Germany with a political framework, the federal government adopted the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change (DAS) in December 2008. “This will be updated in 2019 and we will present the results in 2020,” said Merkel. “Much of this is about making the right decisions in city planning.” Another field is agriculture, said the chancellor. “We have developed an arable farming strategy in which we make clear that we need innovative techniques for soils and that we need resistant plants that better react to climate change.”

Scientists say extreme weather events will become much more frequent as climate change progresses, and the effects will also be felt in northern Europe, albeit less than in other parts of the world. After a prolonged drought in 2018, for example, low water levels in the Rhine – at some points the lowest ever recorded - disrupted fuel and chemical supplies on the vital European trade route, hitting Germany’s economic output. The companies that depend on the Rhine River have recently developed an action plan with the transport ministry in the wake of last year’s drought.

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