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Climate disasters cost Germany EUR80B since 2018

BERLIN (AFP) – Weather catastrophes triggered by climate change have cost Germany at least EUR80 billion since 2018, a “horrifying” official study said yesterday, as disasters grow more frequent and intense.

The report commissioned by the economy and environment ministries estimated the impact of drought, floods and extreme heat in Germany between 2000 and 2021 was nearly EUR145 billion (USD147 billion), most of it seen in recent years.

Since 2018 alone, damage to buildings and infrastructure as well as lost revenue in sectors such as forestry and farming in Europe’s top economy reached over EUR80 billion.

Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said the “horrifying scientific data” illustrated the “enormous damage and costs” of the climate crisis. The numbers sound the alarm for more prevention when it comes to the climate”, she said in a statement. “We have got to and will invest more in climate protection and adaptation to protect our people.”

Economy Minister Robert Habeck, whose brief includes climate policy, said national measures would have to go hand-in-hand with accelerated global action to “keep the impact of the climate crisis at a bearable level”. The study showed accelerated effects over time, with the abnormally hot, dry summers of 2018 and 2019 and deadly floods in the Rhineland one year ago recorded as particularly devastating.

An excavator loads a truck with concrete pieces near the Ahr river. PHOTO: AFP