Berlin (dpa) – Following the recent flood disaster, the Greens are calling for a preventive package of up to 25 billion euros.
“Climate precaution, i.e. adaptation to the effects of the climate, must become a guiding principle, because it requires a joint effort by the federal and state governments,” said Anton Hofreiter of the Rheinische Post group leader. “We need to get better at disaster relief, climate precaution and climate protection. Because such severe weather conditions will become more frequent in the future,” the Green politician warned.
“In practice this means: better protection against flooding, reinforced dams and dikes, more space and drainage channels for smaller rivers, less closure of areas, a different approach to heathland, forests and agricultural areas in general,” emphasizes Hofreiter. The Greens expected 20 to 25 billion euros for better climate measures over the next ten years. Post-disaster reconstruction is also costing double-digit billions.
Preparing municipalities for climate change
“Prevention must become the guiding principle of a new policy,” it says in a seven-page document from the party and parliamentary faction, which is available to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. With a ‘climate protection fund’, the federal government must support municipalities for ten years in adapting to the effects of climate change, be it heat or flooding. “It is nothing less than a comprehensive modernization program for our infrastructures, cities and towns,” the newspaper said.
In future, there should be tax incentives or subsidies for homeowners if they protect their buildings against heavy rainfall or flooding. Insurance against natural disasters “should become standard”, the Greens believe. A “climate damage registry” is also needed, in which regional consequences are recorded.
More accurate predictions of climate damage
The federal Ministry of the Environment also wants to start such a climate damage register. State Secretary for the Environment Jochen Flasbarth told the German news agency in Berlin: “Germany urgently needs a better knowledge base on the damage and costs of climate change. The most recent severe weather disaster has made that clear to us. But what really awaits us is not always easy to determine these days: climate effects are complex, studies often only consider part of reality, information flows between relevant authorities are insufficiently established.”
A systematic registration for the whole of Germany is therefore not yet possible, according to Flasbarth. “But decision-makers in federal, state and local governments need to know who is suffering the most from the effects of climate change and what damage and preventive measures really cost. This is necessary to better estimate future needs.”
A climate damage register will provide an answer in the future. The ministry is currently having the Federal Environment Agency develop its methodology and structure. “Potential damage and expected costs can then be predicted even better and the right precautions can be taken in a timely manner.”