German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged on Sunday that the government will focus more on climate protection following the deadly floods that have ravaged parts of Germany and neighboring countries.
“The German language knows almost no words for this devastation,” said Merkel during a visit to the flooded areas of the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate. “We must hurry to tackle climate change.”
Speaking at a press conference in the badly damaged town of Schuld, Merkel said her government “will tackle this natural disaster in the short term, but also in the medium and long term: we will make sure we focus our policy making more. on the climate protection we have in recent years. “
“It is clearly very necessary,” she added.
Climatologists have long warned that such extreme weather events would hit Europe more and more as the world warms. The recent floods claimed the lives of more than 180 people in Germany and Belgium. Other flash floods hit southern Germany on Sunday, especially in the district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria.
Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he wanted to provide 300 million euros in emergency aid and invest “billions of euros” in a reconstruction program to repair “houses, roads and bridges destroyed “.
Merkel confirmed at Sunday’s press conference that her government would approve a relief package on Wednesday.
“We see the violence that nature can exert during torrential floods,” she added. “All the same, we see the strong will of the people who survived.”
Merkel added that she would return to the region in August “so that we can show you that we are here for the long term”.
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