The focus of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue was on preparing for the COP28 Climate Change Conference in the United Arab Emirates, to which end representatives from 40 countries met at the Federal Foreign Office.
The new commitment to climate protection
Speaking on the second day of the meeting, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that what we needed now was to move from words to action when it comes to climate protection and called for a boom in private investment in climate-friendly technologies through such things as national and international investment and funding instruments. Scholz talked about the European Green Deal, which includes an emissions trading reform, the agreements reached at the Group of Seven (G7) summit on decarbonisation and the recently founded Climate Club, which, he said, demonstrated a new state-level commitment to climate protection.
This is why the Federal Chancellor is in favour of a target for the global expansion of renewable energies and called, for example, for a tripling of the expansion of the use of renewable energy sources by 2030. His remarks echoed those of Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who had also stressed her support for a global target for the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by the international community in her opening speech.
"This is new," she said on Tuesday, "which is why we’re all gathered here today in such a special setting." Now, she added, countries needed to explain how they intend to change course to finally get onto the 1.5-degree path, because climate change was threatening millions of people, every hour, every day.
Funding the great transition
According to the Federal Chancellor, the question of funding the major transition to climate neutrality is also important. "This is only possible with public and private investment," he said, adding that Germany would be contributing two billion euros to replenish the Green Climate Fund, which, he pointed out, is a third more than our previous contribution.
Germany, Scholz said, stands by its pledge to increase funding for international climate protection activities to six billion euros by 2025 and called upon all donors to continue to maintain the success of the fund. "Every tonne of CO2 saved anywhere in the world is a collective success," Scholz declared.
Waiting for a global assessment
An initial global review of the results of the Paris Climate Agreement will take place at the World Climate Conference in Dubai. i.e. a global review on climate protection. Scholz referred to this mechanism as the core of the climate agreement as far as Germany and the rest of Europe are concerned, adding that this is why the EU will set out its own interim targets for 2030 no later than six months later, as agreed in the European Climate Change Act. Scholz expressed his hope that many other countries would follow suit.
As the press conference drew to a close, Foreign Minister Baerbock and COP28 President-elect Sultan Al-Jaber, from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), praised the productive discussions that took place during the conference. Baerbock pointed out that no decisions were taken during the summit, but that the intention of the talks was to come up with concrete ideas and strategies in preparation for the World Climate Conference. The pressure of climate change, she said, is increasing by the day and with it the responsibility on the respective conference presidency. The UAE, she pointed out, was the first country in the region to announce a climate neutrality target, which, she said, makes the UAE a pioneer in the transition from the fossil fuel era to the age of renewable energy sources.
A representative set of countries have been meeting annually at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue since 2010 to prepare for the global climate negotiations held each November. The first of these dialogues was held in the eponymous Petersberg in Bonn, since which time the delegates have come together each year in Berlin. The country that has been elected to the presidency of the next climate conference always co-hosts the event, so this year’s co-host is the United Arab Emirates, which will be hosting the next world climate conference, COP28, in Dubai between 30 November and 12 December 2023.