Environmental associations call for new locations for houses and more space for water

by Thorsten Koch

Several environmental associations have called for reconstruction efforts after the flood disaster in western Germany to be adapted, with a view to tackling climate change. Rivers need to be given more space and some buildings rebuilt elsewhere instead of erecting them as they were before the floods did damage. Otherwise there is a risk that people will “lose everything” again in the event of a flood, according to the Umwelthilfe.

In the cities, areas are needed which are not sealed. In addition, there need to be more green areas, so that more water is absorbed in the event of new floods. After all, near-natural rivers stored carbon, in addition to retaining water, said a spokesman for the Umwelthilfe. There must be better cooperation between the federal and state levels in order to implement the goals of climate neutrality, flood protection and nature conservation – with appropriate funding.

The Naturschutzbund Deutschland called for a change of direction and appealed “not to repeat the old mistakes again.” Only a third of the floodplains have not yet been sealed in Germany. It is time to find safe areas for the industry and for housing. This could help Avoid billions in damage in the future. The Naturschutzbund proposed green roofs and small parks. Politicians are currently pursuing individual measures with a largely technical point of view. Sealed areas would have to be broken up, the association concluded.

Meanwhile, the Greens have called for a precautionary package of 25 billion Euros to be put together for climate protection. Bundestag parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter stated: “Heavy weather events will occur more frequently in the future.” Municipalities had to be able to implement flood protection measures as well as a reconstruction of the sewer system.

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