Germany's 5-Point Action Plan for Climate Protection
Germany announced plans this Tuesday to "invest nearly €4 billion ($4.4 billion) in 'natural climate protection’ to complement steps being taken to wean [the country] off fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions,” reports DW. The country’s five-point action plan includes increased protection of wetlands, ocean ecosystems, wilderness areas, and forests.
According to German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, city parks will gain protection under the portion for "urban climate protection," and 150,000 trees will be planted to reduce heat island effects.
This plan is receiving mixed reactions. Environmental organizations Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund support the plan. At the same time, farmers and certain conservative groups such as the Christian Democrats and Christian Social Union feel it lacks climate adaptation measures.
WW0 COP26 Talks: Wade Crawford, California's Natural Resources Secretary, November 8, 2021.
Oxford Martin School: Evaluating and investing in Nature-based Solutions with Nathalie Seddon & Cameron Hepburn, June 17, 2021.
Why This Matters
Germany’s five-point plan shows a solid commitment to the environment and provides a positive model for other countries. Biodiversity and the protection of natural habitats is more critical than ever. Biodiversity loss threatens to undermine the global economy. Additonationally, healthy ecosystems are often critical buffers against natural disasters and help reduce their devastating effects. Restoring forests and planting new growth provides cooling effects from leaf cover and increases carbon sequestration, which also helps reduce warming.
"A single acre of wetlands can hold up to 1.5 million gallons of rain or melting snow and prevent flooding onto nearby communities,” writes Kate Wall, senior lobbyist with the Humane Society of the United States.
Conservation International: What on Earth is Irrecoverable Carbon?, March 31, 2021.
The Kunming Declaration
Two weeks of pre-Kunming (CBD COP15) talks just wrapped up in China, where world leaders met to address the proposed Kunming Biodiversity Fund. Discussions focused on creating a "new global biodiversity framework under the auspices of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity,” reports DW.
The talks faced challenges, with countries finding it difficult to agree on a set environmental framework. Creating the framework is crucial as biodiversity loss is a threat equal to climate change, explains Kirsten Thonicke, a Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research researcher. "The world has just one decade to turn the tide against biodiversity loss, including striking agreements, setting the governance framework, and implementing them on a local and global scale,” she stated to DW.
Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, stated, "As we move forward, political leadership is going to be critical to resolve some of the stickiest points and to drive consensus. And so we are calling upon heads of states, prime ministers, and ministers of the environment to drive that leadership."
Convention on Biological Diversity: Biodiversity Beat News Review | 29 March, March 30, 2022
Convention on Biological Diversity: The Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, July 9, 2021.