BERLIN – A millennial flood this week devastated Germany and much of Western Europe as rescue efforts intensified as the death toll surpassed 1,160. Climate change by Saturday emphasized the center of German politics and its campaign for uninterrupted elections this fall. After taking office, Chancellor Angela Merkel will be replaced.
The floods have not only caused extensive damage – houses have been destroyed, electricity and sewers have been cut off and hundreds of vehicles have been destroyed – in a week when the European Union adopted the world’s most ambitious proposal, bitter political divisions over climate policy. To reduce carbon emissions over the next decade.
Although German authorities say it was too early to paint a picture of the catastrophe, it has removed the controversy from the notion that its free catastrophe is not for politics and that leadership should play a central role in deciding who will take the policies behind it now.
“The weather is political,” Germany’s ARD public television said in its editorial on Friday evening.
“For a long time chatting about the weather was tantamount to triviality. It’s over now, “he said.” The weather is very political; there’s hardly any apolitical weather, especially during the election campaign. “
The death toll in Germany rose to at least 143 on Saturday, with 24 people crossing the border into Belgium, authorities said.
On Saturday, rescue workers were still wreaking havoc across the region. The German media was still full of images of houses submerged in raw brown water up to the second floor and small piles of stone or rubble metal pylons on bridges.
Stories of tragedy erupted, perhaps no more amusing than Sinjig, where neighbors heard the cries of disabled residents drowning in the basement of a residential house, where a lone night watchman was powerless to save them. The incident raised tough questions about whether authorities were ready and why local officials did not take flood warnings more aggressively.
Police said more than 90 of those killed in Germany lived in towns and villages along the Ahar River valley in the western Rhineland-Palatinate state. Local authorities set up A hotline Necessary material or emotional, and support for the citizens of hard-hit areas Issue a call for equipment Basic infrastructure to help supply even clean drinking water.
Ms Merkel, 67, who was expected to leave politics after the election on Saturday, will visit the district on Sunday to survey the extent of the devastation, her office said. He spoke via video link with the governor of the Rhineland-Palatinate on Friday, hours after touching Berlin from a visit to Washington.
While in the United States, Chancellor and President Biden signed A deal This included a commitment to “take urgent action to address the climate crisis,” which would include “further strengthening cooperation with policies and energy technologies needed to accelerate global net-zero transition.”
The European Union’s ambitious blueprint, announced on Wednesday, is part of a plan to block 227 countries from becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, and logically the continent’s largest economy and industrial power plant will not affect any European country except Germany.
A day later, the catastrophic floods, which affected Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands, in addition to Germany, immediately paralleled the effects of these disasters and climate change on the influence of environmental activists and broader politicians.
Min0-year-old North Rhine-Westphalia Conservative governor, who is trying to make Mrs Merkel successful, has praised her regional government for passing laws on climate change, but critics point to the state’s open soft coal mines still threatening local villages and a German one. The importance of keeping the industry without electricity is being repeatedly emphasized.
During an interview on WDR local public television on Thursday, when pressured about whether the floods would be a catalyst for his stance on climate change, Mr Lashet jumped on the moderator.
“I’m a governor, not a worker,” he said. “Just having a day like ours doesn’t mean we change our politics.”
But in 2011, Mrs. Merkel did just that.
After seeing the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and being swept away by the tsunami, the chancellor backtracked on the government’s decision until 2033 to increase the country’s reliance on nuclear power. This catastrophe forced him to reset the target closure date to 2022, while increasing the amount of energy driven by renewable sources.
Germany has a history of influencing the political propaganda of the floods. In 2002, in pictures of Chancellor Gerhard Schrider tying rubber boots to the chest in the raw water of a swollen elbow, while his conservative rival is on vacation, he is credited with helping him win the election that year.
Perhaps beware of this lesson, the chancellor and rural candidate for the rural party is Analena Barbarak, 40, who spent her holidays in the Rhineland-Palatinate affected areas on Friday.
He called for immediate assistance for the victims, but also issued an appeal to protect “residential areas and infrastructure” from extreme weather events linked to the changing climate.
“Climate protection now: In all areas of climate protection we need to accelerate the game and take effective climate protection measures through immediate climate protection programs,” said Mrs. Barbeck.
It remains to be seen whether the floods will be enough to boost support for the Greens. After enjoying the initial excitement surrounding the announcement of Mrs. Barbak’s campaign – she is the only woman in the country to replace the country’s first female chancellor – support for the Greens has now dropped by nearly 20 percent.
According to the latest poll, the party is second only to Mr. Lashett’s Conservatives, who continue to support about 30 percent, according to the latest poll.
“Extreme weather will happen anywhere in the world in the next two months,” said Thorston Fass, a political scientist at the Free University of Berlin. “The focus has been on the Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia after the disaster. The issue will determine the election campaign. ”
Replace Mrs. Merkel, the 33-year-old finance minister who is taking the opportunity to replace her and return her Social Democratic Party vice-chancellor, also visited the flood-hit Rhineland-Palatinate region on Friday, where she promised quick help from the government and linked the disaster to climate change.
“I am convinced that our work is stopping man-made climate change,” Mr Scholes told ZDF’s public television. He praised his party’s role in passing the first few climate laws in Germany during the Social Democrats’ rule with Green from 1999 to 2005, but called for greater efforts to move towards a carbon-neutral economy.
“All we have to do now is build resistance to the end so that we can raise expansion targets for renewable energy in such a way that it works with any CO2-neutral industry to overcome this resistance,” he said.
At the moment, the focus is on the role of environmental issues in the election campaign, when he was the President of the United Nations, and in 1995, the question arises as to whether he was a champion in the fight against climate change. ‘The first climate conference in Berlin has pushed its own country hard enough.
Once he came to power, it proved more difficult to persuade his country’s powerful industrialists and motorists – key supporters of his conservative party – to play their part.
The result was a law that in April the German Supreme Court ruled was not aggressive enough to bring down emissions. The government has instructed to tighten the law to ensure that future generations are protected.
“In recent years, we have not implemented many of the things that were needed in Germany,” Mal “Dryer, governor of the Rhineland-Palatinate state, said in an interview with the media consortium.
He called on German consumers to use climate-neutral products and help the country “show more momentum” that climate change is no longer an abstraction. “We’re feeling it first and foremost,” Mrs. Dryer said.
Melissa Eddie Reports from Berlin, and Steven Erlanger From Sinzig, Germany