‘Climate Change Conference is an opportunity – if we all play our part’




A farmer in the Niger whose fields have dried up due to the heat. A father in Palau who does not know whether his house will still be standing when his children are grown up. Mayors in Spain, Germany or Lithuaniawho have to find a way to protect their towns and cities from a water shortage and ever more dangerous floods. Regardless of which country you look at, one crisis is evident everywhere: the climate crisis.
This crisis is the greatest security challenge of our age. It affects us all. What gives me hope is that we have the knowledge, the technology as well as the instruments to contain the climate crisis together. What we need is political will. In 2015, the international community showed this will and paved the way for a new, climate-neutral world by adopting the Paris Agreement. Almost 170 countries set themselves ambitious climate targets back then. The expansion of renewable energies has accelerated dramatically. However, when we come together for the Climate Change Conference in Dubai in a few days’ time, we will also know: We find ourselves in a race against time – and we have been too slow to date.
The forthcoming COP is a huge opportunity to pick up the pace, an opportunity which we should seize together by forming alliances among countries at the forefront of climate action. For in Dubai we will be carrying out the Global Stocktake agreed in Paris for the first time. This will allow us to review our progress. Germany believes that three points are key here.
First of all, we should hugely ramp up the global energy transition by 2030. For every tonne of CO2 a country emits harms us all. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, we’ve to work together to decrease global emissions by at least 43% in the course of this decade. In Germany, we have pledged by law to become climate neutral by 2045. However, the energy transition is a global task. That is why we are working to ensure that a joint agreement is reached at COP 28 on tripling renewable energies, doubling energy efficiency and gradually phasing out fossil fuels.
Secondly, our best tool for tackling the climate crisis is solidarity. Germany has increased its annual contribution to climate finance to more than six billion euro from its budget funds. In doing so, we are playing our part in the industrialised countries’ pledge to make available 100 billion euro for climate finance – and we are confident that this pledge will be fulfilled by the end of this year.
Thirdly, we want to invest in our partnerships at COP 28. We know that the conditions necessary for a successful energy transition and climate action are different in each country. And that the radical change which the green transformation will entail can only work if it is socially just. We will support our partners to this end. We can all benefit because every investment in solar panels, in green hydrogen or in heat insulation technologies is an opportunity for growth, new jobs and a secure energy supply.
After all, no country should have to decide between development and climate action.
It is important that we all have the same goal: a climate-neutral and resilient future in which our children can live in security and prosperity. During the coming days in Dubai, we will have an opportunity to set out on this journey together. We should seize this opportunity.
(The writer is foreign minister of Germany)


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