Man-made climate change has caused damage averaging 6.6 billion euros in Germany every year since 2000. This is the result of a project commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection on the costs of the consequences of climate change in Germany. Overall, the heat, drought and floods caused by the climate crisis will have cost at least 145 billion euros by 2021.
The two hot summers of 2018 and 2019 alone and the flood of 2021 would have cost more than 80 billion euros. The flood, especially in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, will cost more than 40 billion euros. The authors of the study pointed out that these are lower limits, as it is not easy to distinguish between normal extreme weather damage and damage caused by the climate crisis. In addition, there is damage, such as the loss of biodiversity, which cannot be converted into money. In any case, a large part of the damage was caused by extreme weather events, for which the influence of advancing climate change was clearly proven.
Habeck demands climate adaptation strategy
Forestry and agriculture in large parts of Germany suffered from the heat and drought. In the two extreme years of 2018 and 2019 alone, these sectors of the economy had to record costs of around 25.6 billion euros due to damage.
Another €9 billion occurred in industry and commerce as productivity among working people fell due to the heat. Federal Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck drew two conclusions from the results: "Firstly, we must keep the consequences of the climate crisis at a tolerable level worldwide." This is only possible with significantly more climate protection. Second, a reliable climate adaptation strategy is needed that protects the population, infrastructure and economy from heat, flooding and severe weather fluctuations. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke also announced a national water strategy.