Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Extreme weather conditions as a consequence of global climate crisis are taking a serious and tangible financial toll on Germany, measured in tens of billions of euros, according to a study released on Monday.
In a first study of its kind, economic analysis firm Prognos estimated that climate crisis consequences had cost Germany at least 6.6 billion euro per year on average since the year 2000.
Extreme weather conditions registered between 2018 and 2021 have caused as much as 80 billion euro in damages, as devastating floods, draughts and other weather extremes are increasingly impacting Germany.
Only the floods in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in 2021 caused more than 40 billion euro in damages, while the rest of the 80 billion euro estimate came from the damage caused by heat waves during the summers of 2018 and 2019.
The study’s authors note that the actual damage caused to Germany since 2000 could be even greater, as the study did not examine all extreme weather events in the period, and as many consequences of climate change impacts remain difficult or impossible to quantify in terms of money, such as long-term health impacts or the effects on biodiversity.
German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke commented on the study, saying that its findings were alarming. “We must and we will now invest more in climate protection and climate adaptation, in order to better protect our population,” said Lemke.
The study comes as several European countries are currently fighting forest fires and deadly heat waves, another example of weather extremes that have become increasingly common in Europe in recent years.