With 12 days to go before the start of the Johannesburg summit, the flooding of Prague and other Central European areas has restarted the debate on the effects of climate change.
Although meteorologists are divided in their explanations of the current extreme bad weather situations, some politicians and environmentalist are making the link with global warming and are demanding more effective measures to fight climate change. In Germany, the floods have brought the green issues back into the election campaign. The SPD and the Greens are calling for more exotaxes, whereas the CDU/CSU is promoting nuclear power as the alternative.
In a press statement on 13 August, environmental organisation WWF Europe said: "The extreme weather events we are currently seeing around the globe give us a taste of what to expect from climate change". WWF urged world leaders to use Johannesburg "to agree on effective measures to combat climate change and to provide a sustainable energy future".
The European Commission has ruled out direct financial help for the victims of the floods in Germany, Austria and Italy. However, the Commission is investigating the possibility of aid to the Czech Republic under the EU's foreign aid programme.