Germany records huge losses due to extreme weather conditions

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Damage from extreme weather conditions has cost Germany 145 billion euros ($146.5 billion) since 2000, according to a study published Monday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Most of the damage, worth 80 billion euros, occurred in the past four years, the study said.

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Flood-related disasters in July 2021, which destroyed entire villages and killed 186 people, accounted for half of the losses.

“The climate crisis is escalating around the world,” said Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck, referring to current droughts and wildfires in southern Europe and floods in Australia, Madagascar and Germany.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said the study was “a warning sign that more crisis prevention efforts are needed to avoid further heavy losses globally and for the German economy.”

While Germany aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 65 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels, the government last week postponed the introduction of concrete measures to achieve the national target.

Because of the impending gas shortage caused by the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Germany has finally decided to restart some coal-fired power plants to ensure the security of the electricity supply.

“This is a short-term emergency measure, and it will not be at the expense of our climate goals,” Chancellor Olaf Schultz said at the Petersburg Climate Dialogue on Monday, adding that “we should not now consider sliding toward a global renaissance of fossil energy, and coal in particular.”

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Schultz reiterated the commitment of the major Western industrial countries to provide $100 billion annually in climate finance in poor countries.

Germany announced a contribution of 6 billion euros by 2025 at the latest.

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