“The future belongs to wind power, solar energy and green hydrogen”

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Climate Change Conference in Egypt “The future belongs to wind power, solar energy and green hydrogen”

At the 27th UN Climate Change Conference, Federal Chancellor Scholz announced that Germany would be seeking to provide more support to countries that are particularly hard hit by climate change. Heads of state and government from all over the world have come together in Sharm El Sheikh to discuss pressing climate protection issues against the backdrop of the global energy crisis.

6 Min. Lesedauer

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz speaking at the press conference.

The Federal Government has made climate protection a priority of the current legislative period.

Foto: Federal Government/Imo

“Every tenth of a degree we manage to reduce global warming means fewer droughts and floods, fewer resource conflicts, less famine and less crop failure – and therefore greater security and prosperity for all,” stressed Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday at the COP27 UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt. The goal was to reach the global peak of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 at the latest and to almost halve emissions by 2030, said Scholz. 

Under the motto “Together for just, ambitious implementation NOW”, representatives of 198 countries are meeting in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to negotiate climate policy.

In view of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, it is particularly important this year for the international community to demonstrate multilateral cooperation and trust. After all, the trend of rising emissions has to be reversed as quickly as possible, with the target of almost halving CO2 emissions by 2030. Man-made climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our times.

Expanding international climate financing

In the last three years, Germany has increased public funding for international climate financing by more than a third to a total of 5.3 billion euros in 2021, the Federal Chancellor noted. For the first time, he said, about half of this amount had gone towards measures to support countries in adapting to changing climatic conditions. “By 2025 we aim to increase our contribution from public funds for international climate finance to six billion euros per year – while at the same time mobilising additional private funds,” said the Federal Chancellor.

The countries most severely affected by climate change are also to receive targeted support in dealing with loss and damage, with a global shield against climate risks to be set up for this purpose. “Germany is making 170 million euros available for this global shield and for climate risk financing,” said the Federal Chancellor.

Protection of biodiversity to be incorporated in policy

The Federal Chancellor also stressed the importance of tackling the climate and biodiversity crises at the same time. For this reason, he said, Germany would increase its contribution to the protection of biodiversity to 1.5 billion euros per year by 2025 as part of international climate financing.

Unconditional phase-out of fossil fuels

Germany is seeking to be one of the first industrialised countries to become climate-neutral by 2045, while the European Union aims to achieve this by 2050. In Germany, Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine has led to coal-fired power plants being connected to the grid again for a short period of time, said Scholz, but as he stressed: “We stand firmly by the coal phase-out.” It was now clearer than ever, he said: “The future belongs to wind power, solar energy and green hydrogen.” Germany was keen to offer its partnership in this connection, he added, and was looking to “develop and distribute technologies that would enable people all over the world to live in prosperity without harming the climate.” This was the goal of the open, cooperative Climate Club, said Scholz.

Other key items on the conference agenda include financing for climate protection, dealing with climate-related damage and adapting to the changing climate. 

Federal Chancellor Scholz delivered the national statement for Germany in the plenary session of the heads of government. In addition, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, State Secretary and Special Representative for International Climate Policy Jennifer Morgan, Federal Minister for Development Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for the Environment Steffi Lemke and Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir are also negotiating on behalf of the Federal Government in Egypt. The Federal Ministry for Climate Action is represented by State Secretary Stefan Wenzel.

Global reduction of greenhouse gases required

The Federal Government’s goal is to make progress on climate protection targets that states submit as “nationally determined climate contributions”. Germany submits its climate contributions within the framework of the EU. The EU will be updating its climate target based on the Fit for 55 package: by 2030, it is expected to exceed its previous target of reducing emissions by 55 percent compared to the 1990 level. Due to the ongoing trilogue negotiations, the update will probably not take place until after the climate conference. 

States set out their current policy measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as so-called “nationally determined climate contributions” (NDCs). These are to be upgraded every five years in order to guarantee that climate protection targets are met, as set down in the Paris Agreement.

In addition, it is also important to make identifiable progress in the implementation of climate protection targets and the long-term commitment to greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 at the latest.

The Federal Government has made climate protection a priority of the current legislative period. It is now working full out on a comprehensive climate emergency action programme that will enable the 2030 climate target to be met, namely a 65-percent reduction in greenhouse gases. This is to be presented before the end of the year.

Driving forward the energy transition worldwide

The global energy transition also has to be accelerated in order to ensure the 1.5-degree target under the Paris Agreement remains within reach. In the face of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the Federal Government’s climate and energy policy has taken on a new geostrategic significance. In order to gain independence more quickly, the switch to renewable energies has to be accelerated: after all, climate neutrality also means greater energy security. The need for energy security naturally applies to the global South, too. Based on energy partnerships, the Federal Government is seeking to accelerate an equitable energy transition in this region.

Delivering on the promise of international climate finance

In 2020, the industrialised countries pledged to provide 100 billion US dollars per year up until 2025 from public and private sources for climate protection and adaptation measures in emerging and developing countries. This target is not expected to be met until 2024. The Federal Government regrets this, but continues to contribute its fair share.

Germany has exceeded its pledged contribution to international climate finance in recent years, having contributed 8.1 billion euros in 2021. Of this, 5.34 billion euros came from budgetary funds; this contribution is to be increased to 6 billion by 2025 at the latest.

Global shield against climate risks

The Federal Government is seeking to support those countries that are struggling most with loss and damage caused by climate change. In this connection, the expectation is that the climate conference in Egypt will give green light for a global shield against climate risks that enables damage compensation based on a system of upfront financing.

Negotiations on the Climate Club continue

With the newly emerging Climate Club, the Federal Government is seeking to move forward with friends and partners worldwide to implement the Paris Agreement even more swiftly and effectively. The idea is that national strategies for climate-neutral economic activity should not be opposed to each other and isolate countries from each other. The Climate Club aims to maintain competitiveness while at the same time ensuring that climate protection provides added value – rather than being a drawback.