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Climate Change Costs

DW staff (win)March 26, 2008

The financial costs of climate change could come to as much as 800 billion euros ($1.23 trillion) over the next half century, according to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

A ski lift with people while the snow on the ground to the left has already melted
By 2100, the last bits of snow could be gone from Bavaria's ski areasImage: AP

"The economic damage will increase in all federal states," DIW's Claudia Kemfert said at the 3rd Extreme Weather Congress in Hamburg on Wednesday, March 26. "What differs greatly is the burden they will carry."

While wealthier states such as Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria in the south might face the highest costs at 129 billion euros and 113 billion euros respectively, they'll be less hard hit than poorer regions such as the city state of Bremen in the north or Brandenburg in the east, according to a DIW study released Wednesday.

More swimming, less skiing

A beach in Travemuende in northern Germany
Will southern Europeans flock to Germany's beaches in the future?

The impact of climate change will also differ greatly, if the report's finding prove accurate. Germany's northern states will mainly face rising temperatures, which could actually help the area as it would make beaches along the North and Baltic seas more attractive for tourists.

Extreme precipitation in fall and winter will mainly hit central and southwestern Germany, while southern and eastern Germany are likely to struggle with extended periods of drought. The south will also suffer as a result of rising temperatures: By 2100, there probably won't be any snow in Germany's Alpine regions, bringing an end to winter sports tourism.

Rising temperatures could also lead to problems with energy supply as nuclear power plants, for example, might run out of cooling water, the report said.