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Germany: Too little money for prevention of damage to the climate

The cost of climate change would be lower if more money would flow into the prevention, for example in flood protection. But Germany is only one-tenth of what experts call.

By Jürgen Döschner, WDR

At the Potsdam Institute for climate impact research (PIK), knows it with disaster scenarios. Global warming, melting polar ice caps, rising sea levels. Professor Anders levermann, head of the Department of "adaptation strategy" in SPADES, this is almost Routine. However, the year 2018 has him worried. "Last December was covered with the blanket, from New York to Chicago, the entire East coast of the United States under a Snow, everything came to a Standstill," says Levermann.

cause was the meanderings of the so-called Jetstream. This phenomenon, there is around the globe, including in Europe. "A month later, is on the rise in Siberia within five days, the temperature around 55 degrees. If we would have had in Europe - and this is not impossible - then we would have the hospitals full," cautions Levermann.

heavy rain, heat, drought, and storms - these abrupt, climate-change-related weather changes, the major challenges in the field of climate adaptation - and not just in some decades, but today.

Bodenheim in Rhineland-Palatinate in October: Low water levels led to only a few ships were able to travel on the Rhine.

Diffuse responsibilities

However, when dealing with the consequences of climate change, Germany has similar deficits as in the area of climate protection. This begins that no authority has a complete Overview of what has been done so far in this area and how much money was spent on it. In the Federal and in the majority of countries, the issue is settled in the case of the environment ministries.

A survey of the WDR showed an incomplete picture. Although reported to be up to Hamburg and Bremen - all ministries. Most were also able to refer to intentions, plans, and projects. However, the question as to the investment in climate adaptation, the answers were often unspecific. "A clear-cut designation of the cost is solely on the basis of thematic issues of Demarcation is not possible", writes, for example, the Federal Ministry for the environment, and called only a few exemplary Figures. Similar to the North Rhine-Westphalia Ministry of the environment responded in Düsseldorf.

"The Problem is that it is not systemic thought", writes Petra Mahrenholz from the Federal environment Agency (UBA) of this condition. "It will not be decided in a multidisciplinary and non-technical funded across all consequences," the head of the competence center for climate and adaptation at the UBA.

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