Climate change is pushing social product

Loss of productivity and more heat death predicted by heating in Germany

Climate change is money WWF
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As a result of climate change, Germany is facing a significant increase in heat deaths and a loss of labor productivity by the end of the century. This emerges from a study presented by the Kiel Institute for Economic Research (IfW) and the WWF on Thursday in Hamburg. "Due to the increasing number of hot days in Germany, we could lose 0.1 to 0.5 percent of the national product every year, " warns the author of the study, IfW Professor Gernot Klepper.

The report commissioned by the WWF at the IfW entitled "Costs of Climate Change" examines the effect of increasing temperatures on the health and performance of people in Germany for the years 2071-2100. In regional forecasts, the scientists have extrapolated the increase of so-called heat days for 16 German cities - these are days with more than 32 degrees of perceived temperature. Particularly affected are the Upper Rhine Graben and the agglomerations. The leader is Mannheim with up to 23 more hot days per year. In Frankfurt, 19 additional hot days are expected in Leipzig, 12 in Leipzig and in Hamburg.

Ten billion euros loss

The consequences are tragic: Without adaptation measures, the number of heat deaths will increase by 5, 000 to 15, 000 per year, according to the IfW forecast. Today, around 24, 500 patients are admitted to hospitals every year due to heat-related illnesses. Reason: the enormous strain on the cardiovascular system and lung functions. According to the study, about 150, 000 hospital admissions per year would be probable in the future. As a result, hospital costs alone were expected to increase by between € 300 million and € 700 million.

However, the highest costs are threatened by the reduction in employee benefits on extreme heat days. The decrease in productivity by up to twelve percent leads to an economic loss of up to ten billion euros. According to this IfW scenario, 2.4 billion euros of economic output have already been lost through heat days.

IfW and WWF point out that the economic costs of the health effects caused by climate change can only be predicted to a limited extent so far. In the future, a large number of unexplained health effects will have to be researched - such as the spread of ticks and new allergenic plants. display

Ice cold action asked

The WWF emphasizes that warming is already clearly noticeable today. "The costs of climate change can only be mitigated if we drastically reduce climate-damaging greenhouse gases immediately, " says WWF climate expert Regine Günther. "No warm words, but ice-cold action of politicians is the only way out." The federal government must make itself strong in Europe for a reduction of the greenhouse gases by 30 per cent until 2020. Berlin must finally accept the cap of 453 million tons of greenhouse gases demanded by the European Commission for emissions trading and no longer prefer the coal-fired power plants.

"Germany should no longer be in favor of the industry climate protection brakes in Europe, " warns Regine G nther. The WWF sharply criticizes the role of automobile manufacturers in the latest Brussels decisions: "It is unacceptable that the car industry has been able to assert itself with its climate-friendly policy, otherwise it is always at full throttle, only on climate protection is it on the brakes "G nther criticizes.

(WWF, 09.02.2007 - NPO)