Did Climate Change Cause This? Flood Disaster Could Become a Major Issue in German Election

This week's devastating floods in western Germany could very well bring climate change to the forefront of the country's national election. A similar weather disaster in 2002 tipped the ballots.
18 Min.
Devastation in Walporzheim: A force so strong it could only be a force of nature.

Devastation in Walporzheim: A force so strong it could only be a force of nature.

Foto: David Klammer / laif / DER SPIEGEL
DER SPIEGEL 29/2021
SPIEGEL International
Armin Laschet, the governor of North-Rhine Westphalia and chancellor candidate of the center-right Christian Democratic Union party visited the site of floods in Altena, Germany, on Thursday.

Armin Laschet, the governor of North-Rhine Westphalia and chancellor candidate of the center-right Christian Democratic Union party visited the site of floods in Altena, Germany, on Thursday.

Foto: Ralph Sondermann
"You could watch as one stair step after another disappeared."
The Rhine River in Cologne

The Rhine River in Cologne

Foto: Christoph Hardt / ddp images
Flood damage in the town of Schuld in the Eifel region of North Rhine-Westphalia: There will be many protestations again in the coming days that this isn’t an election issue, but of course it is.

Flood damage in the town of Schuld in the Eifel region of North Rhine-Westphalia: There will be many protestations again in the coming days that this isn’t an election issue, but of course it is.

Foto: Christoph Reichwein / dpa
You can’t hide the weather, which raises questions.