Europe

German president says fighting climate change key to preventing floods

Germany”s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said that fighting climate change is the only way of preventing natural disasters like the floods that devastated Europe this week.

Steinmeier said he had spoken to regional leaders in the areas of Germany most badly affected by the flooding, and that they had described “harrowing” conditions on the ground.

Across Europe, hundreds are missing and more than 100 people have been killed as rivers burst their banks in Belgium and Germany, sweeping away cars and buildings and leaving destruction in their wake.

“Many people have lost what they have built their whole lives, their belongings, their homes, the roof over their heads. Whole places have been scarred by the disaster,” he said.

“It is a tragedy that so many have lost their lives. It leaves me stunned. Many, many people in our country feel for those who are grieving for their loved ones. I would like to express my sympathy to the bereaved families. My thoughts are with them and their fate touches my heart.”

Steinmeier continued that “only if we resolutely take up the fight against climate change will we be able to keep extreme weather situations like the one we are experiencing now in check.”

“In these days and hours, it is important that we show solidarity with those who have lost everything in the floods.”

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