Climate change safety measures are urgently needed



-DW News


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Berlin, July 17: The extent of destruction and death wrought by Germany’s recent floods is slowly becoming apparent. Dozens of people have died, with many still reported missing. The disaster has devastated entire towns, washing away residential houses, cars and trees.

Natural disasters are nothing new. They occurred long before the advent of the industrial age, when humans began burning fossil fuels on a large scale.

Climate change safety measures are urgently needed

Over time, however, atmospheric CO2 concentrations have doubled, raising Earth’s temperature by 1 degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit). A greater frequency and intensity of natural disasters has been the consequence.

As vast swaths of western Germany are dealing with one of the worst floods in years, parts of North America are grappling with scorching hot temperatures that have left scores dead and sparked forest fires that have proven very difficult to contain. The Northern Hemisphere, in short, is facing a climate crisis.

Time to talk about protective measures

Fortunately, there is finally talk of mitigating climate change — that is, taking measures to counteract its gravest consequences. The European Commission has just unveiled its “Fit for 55” plan, a package of revisions and regulations targeted at drastically cutting greenhouse gas emissions. One key policy stipulates that by 2035 sales of vehicles with internal combustion engine cars will be banned.

But Armin Laschet, who leads Germany’s center-right CDU and is vying to succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel in September, has said lawmakers should not set specific phaseout dates. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, meanwhile, has lambasted the EU proposal, writing: “Unless the EU tear up their new #Fitfor55 package, the world will not stand a chance of staying below 1.5°C of global heating.”

Source: DW

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