Bundestag approves climate adaptation law

Bundestag approves climate adaptation law

DGermany should better arm itself against heat and drought, heavy rain and storms, in other words, against extreme weather phenomena that also occur more frequently in this country due to climate change. For the first time there is now a binding framework for this purpose. On Thursday, the Bundestag approved the Federal Climate Adaptation Act with the votes of the traffic light coalition made up of the SPD, Greens and FDP. However, it is not very clear where the billions earmarked for the planned measures will come from. In a joint resolution, the traffic light parties demand that the federal and state governments work together to ensure sustainable funding.

The federal government has already done what was previously legally permitted and possible with individual financing measures, such as natural climate protection, to support municipalities in the context of climate adaptation, according to the resolution. But this is not enough for comprehensive prevention.

At the expert hearing, experts and representatives of municipal organizations called for the creation of a new joint climate adaptation task in the Basic Law. This would represent more financial burdens for the federal government. A two-thirds majority in the Bundestag would be required to amend the Basic Law. The Federal Environment Ministry led by Steffi Lemke (Greens) wants to discuss the issue of joint financing at the next conference with the environment ministers of the federal states in Münster at the end of November and beginning of December.

The Climate Adaptation Law obliges the federal government, states and municipalities to develop concepts and strategies to better protect the population, buildings and infrastructure against extreme weather conditions and to ensure adaptation to climate change, for example in planning urban and agricultural. However, it is not specified what exactly needs to be done to avoid or at least reduce the damage and risks caused by climate change. In addition to unclear financing, this is the main criticism of the CDU and CSU faction.

The Federal Government’s bill had been amended in some points in the Environment Committee. Especially on the initiative of the SPD, occupational safety must now also be taken into account as part of climate adaptation and precautions must also be taken specifically for vulnerable groups. Countries will also have more time for their climate adaptation strategies: these must now be available by January 31, 2027, at the latest, one year later than initially planned.

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