More green, less concrete: the government wants to arm the country against extreme weather

More green, less concrete
Government wants to arm the country against extreme weather

Man-made global warming is already changing the weather in Germany. However, heat, heavy rain and other extremes are becoming even more common. Environment Minister Lemke wants to legislate for municipalities, states and the federal government to prepare for these consequences.

The federal government wants to create the conditions for adaptation to climate change. The cabinet passed a draft law which, according to the Federal Environment Ministry, for the first time sets a “strategic framework” for preventive climate change adaptation at all administrative levels. According to the information provided, the Climate Adaptation Act is intended to oblige the federal government to pursue a precautionary climate adaptation strategy with measurable goals. Citizens as well as federal states and associations should be able to have a say in formulating them. At the end of next year, the first climate adaptation strategy with concrete goals is to be adopted.

A mandate to the federal states to present and implement their own climate adaptation strategies is also planned. Risk analyzes are to be carried out at the local level and suitable concepts drawn up. All those responsible for public tasks should also be obliged to take the goal of climate change adaptation into account in their planning and decisions.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke from the Green Party said the planned measures could “significantly improve the quality of life in the city and in the country”. “Even today, global warming is causing enormous damage in Germany and Europe,” she said. “Heat and drought, heavy rain and floods – extreme weather events will become more frequent in the future and will force us to take precautions and adapt to the consequences of the climate crisis.”

More shade, more green, less concrete

An important point is to prepare big cities better for the consequences of global warming, Lemke also said on the RBB station Radio Eins. She cited the example of the federal capital: “Berlin needs more shade, Berlin needs more opportunities to cool down, Berlin needs less concrete, it needs more so-called blue and green infrastructure.” More meadows, more trees and a corresponding water supply are needed.

The Ministry of the Environment recently pointed out that extreme weather events, many of which were caused or exacerbated by climate change according to experts, have caused damage in Germany of more than 145 billion euros since 2000. Since 2018 alone, it has been around 80 billion euros. According to a study by the Federal Ministry of Economics, extreme weather and the consequences of climate change could result in subsequent economic costs of up to 900 billion euros by the middle of the century.

As early as March 2022, Lemke presented an immediate program for climate adaptation. Municipalities can therefore also receive funding for appointing climate adaptation managers.

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