Survey in Germany
Extreme weather: Many places do not see themselves well prepared
07/13/2023, 11:11 am
Extreme weather always causes major problems in Germany. A survey shows that many places do not see themselves well equipped to implement countermeasures. Due to financial bottlenecks, they give little hope for the next few years.
The majority of districts and cities in Germany do not see themselves prepared for heat, flooding and other extreme weather events. This is shown by a survey published by North German, Bavarian and West German broadcasters and the Correctiv research network. A good half of a total of 329 administrations stated that the necessary protective measures could probably not be financed in the coming years. Another third assumes that the funding will only suffice for a few measures.
With a climate adaptation law, which is to be passed by the cabinet today, Thursday, the federal government wants to enshrine the provision for climate impacts in law. The draft states, among other things, that an “integrated climate adaptation concept” should be drawn up for every community and district. Of the counties and urban districts that took part in the survey, only about a quarter (26 percent) have such a climate adaptation concept in which climate risks and adaptation strategies are recorded. Another 22 percent have a concept in the works.
Among the measures against the consequences of climate change, the planting of drought-resistant tree and plant species was mentioned above all. This has already been implemented in 65 percent of the independent cities and districts. To cope with the increasing heat, 55 percent greened their region with trees, 48 percent opted for greening of facades and roofs.
Only a few cities have an action plan against heat
However, a heat action plan only exists in 14 percent of the administrative districts and urban districts. At 36 percent, it is planned for the next five years. Such action plans serve to better prepare the local population for heat phases and to protect them, for example through early warning systems or the provision of information on correct behavior in heat. The ARD political magazine “Panorama” in the evening and the ARD radio programs report on the survey.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach recently had one national heat protection plan announced on the model of France, which defines different degrees of severity of a heat wave and staggers the concrete measures depending on the temperature. The aim is to improve warning and reaction to heat waves. The SPD politician wants to provide nursing homes, municipalities and hospitals with concrete concepts.
In the past few hot days, Lauterbach and his ministry have already made an effort to warn with information on Twitter and to give tips against the stress caused by the high temperatures. The contributions met with a great response and were viewed millions of times.