Adapting to climate change
"Climate change has arrived in Germany. The municipalities that are struggling with heat and water scarcity in summer are feeling it most keenly. So that we can deal better in future with the consequences of climate change, we need good planning and preparedness measures with vision," said Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze. She was presenting the second progress report on the German Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change.
In the report, the German government takes stock of the last five years. The key part of the Adaptation Strategy is the third "Action Plan on Adaptation" with 180 concrete measures that cover all federal ministries. Three quarters of the measures laid out in the previous action plan have already been or are being implemented.
Protecting social facilities from heat
Before the end of October 2020, the Federal Minister for the Environment will launch a new assistance programme entitled "Adaptation to climate change in social facilities". A total of 150 million euros are available for the programme from the German government’s economic stimulus package.
Often homes for the elderly, care homes, nurseries and hospitals lack the funds to take appropriate preventive action, explained the minister. Municipalities, non-profit organisations and companies working in the health and social sector are eligible for assistance.
They can, for instance make green roofs or facades, erect pavilions that provide shade and install drinking water dispensers. Social facilities can also develop their own specially tailored adaptation to climate change concepts, and receive advice on this.
Climate measures precondition for urban development assistance
Climate change mitigation and adaptation to climate change measures such as energy efficient buildings or more green spaces in urban areas are now a precondition for urban development assistance. This year alone, the German government will provide 790 million euros for urban development.
Mixed forests and natural floodplains for a healthy climate
Since 2011, the Institute for Federal Real Estate has aimed to make federally-owned forests climate-proof, structurally diverse, site-appropriate mixed woodlands.
Since the second action plan, the German government has provided ongoing assistance for climate adaptation measures. The creation of natural floodplains accounts for one quarter of all measures, with the renaturalisation of floodplains and natural watercourses.
In 2008, the German government presented its Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change. Coordinated action at all levels of government is to mitigate the adverse impacts of climate change, reduce risks and damage caused by global warming, and prevent costs rising further.