World risk report presented: Researchers worldwide call for better protection

Status: 09/15/2021 2:48 p.m.

Germany can still cushion extreme natural events well. Other countries are much more vulnerable, according to the World Risk Report. The authors propose to set up a global fund for social protection.

By Kai Clement, ARD capital studio

Where there was just a place, rubble is now mixed with masses of mud. Germany, too, experienced the destructive force of an extreme weather event in the summer with the floods in the Ahr Valley. In this country, however, social systems and emergency state aid at least mitigate the financial consequences.

“Basically, we can say that social security is very good in Germany,” says Peter Mucke. He is the managing director of the organization “Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft”, which, together with the Peace Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, prepared the latest world risk report.

“In the area of ​​insurance, some improvements have to be made,” says Mucke. We urgently need to look to what the causes of the extreme weather conditions are. “In Germany we are not dealing hard enough with climate change.”

“Only every fifth unemployed person receives aid”

Mucke has a demand in the Bundestag election campaign: “The future German government must take a closer look at social security and take on an international pioneering role if it wants to be taken seriously in times of pandemics and increasing weather extremes.”

After all, so far only a small part of the world’s population has access to social systems. Only just under every fifth unemployed person worldwide receives help. Only a good quarter of all families with children receive family benefits. But at least 78 percent of people of retirement age get a pension. Corona in particular has shown the “enormous importance” of such safeguards, write the authors of the World Risk Report.

Island states in the Pacific threatened

Hurricanes, droughts, floods: politics must tackle the causes of extreme weather with more climate protection. This is what Katrin Radtke from the “Institute for Peacekeeping Law and Humanitarian Law” at the Ruhr University in Bochum demands. It is necessary to really anchor climate protection in all areas of society. “We have to set a lot more priorities in this area and get them really serious.”

In the new world risk index now presented, the South Pacific island states of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Tonga, threatened by rising sea levels, are at the top. Of the 181 countries examined, Germany ranks 161st with a very low risk.

Germany is spending 30 billion euros on flood relief. With around half of them, according to Mucke, one could significantly strengthen social security in ten particularly affected countries. “Where we have to get is that we are investing a lot more in the pensions area.”

Rich States as Payers?

Countries like the Netherlands or Japan, which are highly exposed to extreme weather, could drastically reduce their risk through their social systems and investments in education or climate protection. Other countries – such as Zimbabwe, Afghanistan or Haiti – are particularly vulnerable.

One of the researchers’ proposals is therefore to set up a global fund for social security. Mucke suggests that the richer countries should pay into it. You should then cover half the cost in the hardest hit countries. Firstly, this could be used to pay basic protection for states that cannot do this on their own. And secondly, help in the short term in crises.

Help against extreme weather – world risk report wants better social systems

Kai Clement, ARD Berlin, September 15, 2021 1:15 p.m.


15.09.2021 • 8:30 p.m.

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