Greens demand “urgent” action in wake of latest “climate-related” flooding

Martin Banks

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Greens emphasized the immediate need for climate action due to recent extreme weather events in parts of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. With flood warnings and states of emergency declared in affected areas, the Greens highlighted the critical need for climate resilience and adaptation. European Green candidates Bas Eickhout and Terry Reintke stressed that bold action is essential to mitigate the crisis’s impacts and prepare for future challenges, advocating for the continuation and strengthening of the Green Deal.

The European Greens have warned that the climate crisis is no longer a future issue but a current emergency. The party called for urgent climate action and adaptation measures following severe weather events in Southern Germany, Switzerland, and Northern Italy, which have resulted in flood warnings and states of emergency in several regions.

European Greens Urge Immediate Climate Action Amid Severe Flood Warnings

The European Greens have warned: “The climate crisis is no longer about the future, it is about today.” They add, “We stand at a critical juncture in history.” The party has called for “urgent” climate action and adaptation measures following the devastating and fatal extreme weather events in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Northern Italy. Flood warnings have been made in recent days in all three countries.

Even though there were no large-scale floods overnight, so called “floods of the century” are feared in many places. The highest warning level 4 applies to western Swabia, the Upper Allgäu and Upper Bavaria, the German Weather Service in Offenbach announced. Switzerland has also had to beef up its flood defenses after the Swabian district of Augsburg was declared a state of emergency due to the extreme rainfall and rising water levels. The district office said that the water levels are expected to continue to rise sharply in the coming days.

Europe registered numerous fatalities due to climate severities

The communities of Fischach and Langenneufnach will be particularly affected and the district of Günzburg has been declared a state of emergency. Data shows that Europe is the fastest warming continent and is seeing temperatures rise at around twice the global average rate This has severe implications for ecosystems, food security, and overall climate resilience.

Europe registered over 200 fatalities due to floods in 2021, and 60,000 premature deaths due to heatwaves in 2022. The economic losses from weather and climate-related extremes in the EU reached €650m between 1980 and 2021. Also in the past few days, billions of people are confronting temperatures between 40 to 50 degrees Celsius in Africa. The Greens say this highlights the urgent need to speed up the implementation of adaptation measures and to continue the Green Deal.

Comments from European Green Candidates about flooding

Comment comes from European Green lead candidate in the European commission presidency race, Bas Eickhout. He stresses the need for climate adaptation and resilience. The MEP said, “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims, and with all those affected by this disaster. “The climate crisis is here and it is affecting us severely. Bold European action is crucial to mitigate its impacts and prepare for future challenges.

“A climate resilient Europe urgently requires the restoration of nature. Defending such policies against its right-wing adversaries is crucial to our survival and prosperity.” Another European Green lead candidate, MEP Terry Reintke went to see the flood-affected region of Bayern in southern Germany for herself. She asks for increased EU cooperation in disaster response, emphasizing the need for shared resources such as helicopters and emergency services.

She said, “Our ability to respond swiftly and effectively to such disasters can save lives. There is a growing recognition that protecting our climate and environment is fundamentally about protecting people. “The climate crisis is no longer about the future, it is about today. The window to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change is closing rapidly. We stand at a critical juncture in history. “The time to act is now. In this week’s elections, the future of the Green Deal and climate action is on the ballot.” 

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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.