Europe's devastating floods underline the importance of UN climate change conference in Glasgow – Angus Robertson MSP

The scenes of destruction from record rainfall and flooding across Europe are truly biblical.
Mud and debris fill a street in Simbach am Inn, Germany (Picture: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)Mud and debris fill a street in Simbach am Inn, Germany (Picture: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
Mud and debris fill a street in Simbach am Inn, Germany (Picture: Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)

From the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to Germany, Austria and Switzerland, more than 180 people lost their lives and more are missing, feared dead.

The military have been mobilised in many of the countries to assist the clean-up and the emergency services who were first at the scene as rising water from a massive rain deluge overwhelmed riverbanks.

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Roads, bridges and houses were washed away in scores of communities and tens of thousands of residents had to flee for their lives and are now in emergency accommodation.

According to the German weather service, more than 182mm of rain fell during 72 hours in the affected areas, which is more than six times higher than the average heaviest rainfall days in July.

Regional heads of government have been making inspection visits to the affected areas, including Chancellor Angela Merkel who said: “It is shocking – I can almost say that the German language doesn't have words for the destruction that's been wreaked.”

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The German government has already allocated €300 million in emergency funding, including €10,000 in immediate business support grants with billions more in funding required to rebuild and repair the damaged to communities, businesses and lives.

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As the recent flooding in Edinburgh showed, nowhere is immune to the impact of extreme weather events and also climate change.

Delegations from around the world are preparing to come to Scotland in November for the Cop26 UN environment conference. Success at the conference is crucial.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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