The Wiesbaden Urban Climate Alliance fears planning regardless of science

  • toMadeline Rickman

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The regional assembly defends its business.

The excitement among the members of Climate Alliance City in Wiesbaden is great. Should areas in the new Regional Plan for Southern Hesse be evaluated independently of the statewide climate analysis of Hesse? This was suggested by a paragraph in the amendment by the SPD and CDU in the Southern Hessen regional assembly, and is on the agenda today.

“We are appalled and deeply concerned that this request has been proposed,” NATO representatives wrote. The regions of southern Hesse have been identified by climate researchers with a scientific effort, and they justify their concern that the findings should not be ignored simply because they do not suit local politicians.

The alliance should take into account the planned development of Wiesbaden-Ostfeld. In the meadows and fields there, the air cools at night. If Ostfeld were to be developed, the surrounding areas and the city of Mainz could heat up significantly in summer. The Alliance has often commented on Ostfeld.

The background to the initiative by the CDU and SPD is that the report on the statewide climate analysis in Hesse is coming up a long time ago, but the regional plan urgently needs revision. It goes through a multi-stage process so it can be decided in 2025 or 2026. The report on the country-level climate analysis is only available to parliamentary group offices as a draft and cannot be discussed in parliamentary groups and working groups, depending on the request. The Ministry of Economy justifies the delay by adopting new methodological approaches. The analysis should be completed by the end of March. According to a spokeswoman, the behavior of the regional council is not abhorrent.

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The leader of the SPD parliamentary group, Harald Schindler, explained that the first thing to do was to get an overview of the construction projects. The oldest and new application for construction projects will be incorporated into the previous regional plan in order to have a basis for the new plan. SPD Director Kay Gerfelder explains that the regional plan has no binding legal force, but does represent a “regional backdrop”. The implementation states that designated settlement areas without a development plan must be presented in the new regional plan with explicit reference to climate conflict. Municipalities should comment as part of the disclosure.

Schindler and Gerfelder say nothing will change in the Ostfeld specification. In May 2021, the regional assembly set far-reaching conditions for development. Priority areas of climatic functions must be adhered to, railways must be established and farmers’ livelihoods secured. A residential area with a capacity of 8000 to 12,000 people and a commercial area will be built in Ostfeld.

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