Floods drive climate to heart of German election
July 30, 2021 - Recent devastating floods that swept through western Germany have put climate change to the heart of the country’s election campaign.
The climate emergency was already prominent in the campaign for September elections in Germany, but the floods have further shone the spotlight on what has become a hot button issue for all candidates.
Most German political parties agreed global warming was to blame for a catastrophe that has left at least 140 people dead and visited destruction on towns and villages across two of the country’s most populous states.
The dramatic scenes could benefit the Greens, who even before the floods were set to make big gains in September’s poll.
On the other hand, the focus on climate could prove tricky for Armin Laschet, the conservative running to succeed Angela Merkel in the election. As governor of North Rhine-Westphalia, home to some of Germany’s biggest companies, he strongly opposes parts of the Greens’ agenda, saying they could endanger the country’s status as an industrial powerhouse.