Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the Klima-Arena (climate arena) of the foundation Klimastiftung für Bürger in Sinsheim with Baden-Württemberg’s state premier Winfried Kretschmann. More and more people and companies are considering what they can do to help mitigate climate change. "The Klima-Arena and the work of the foundation are vitally important," said the Chancellor, to help people find out more, to give them a chance to look at their ecological footprint when they do their shopping for instance, and to gain a feeling for this.
Once you know how, you can mitigate climate change
The Klima-Arena allows people to experience climate change and understand it. Once you understand it, you can change the way you live in order to tackle climate change, declared Angela Merkel.
The foundation (Klimastiftung für Bürger) encourages everyone to become actively involved. It aims to provide information about how every one of us can live and act more responsibly and how we can reduce our resource consumption.
It offers training, campaigns and activities for schools, nurseries and other public facilities. For instance, the Klima-Arena cooperates with the government-assisted early education initiative "Haus der kleinen Forscher" (Little Scientists’ House).
Germany has a special responsibility as an industrialised country
The latest scientific reports indicate that the rate of climate change is faster than was thought even a few years ago, said Angela Merkel. The German government has set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 – as have many other European countries and a total of over 60 states. She is convinced that this extremely ambitious goal can be achieved, stressed the Chancellor.
Although Germany accounts for one per cent of the world’s population, it is responsible for two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. As a leading industrialised state we have a duty to change the way we live. Policy-makers must put in place the framework for reconciling prosperity and sustainability, she added.
Launching climate legislation
With its climate action programme and the planned Climate Action Act, the German government initially intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030. It will ensure that a reliable and verifiable monitoring system is very firmly anchored in the legislation, said Angela Merkel.
People must know what changes are coming. The market price attached to CO2 emissions will be rendered socially acceptable. A lot must still be done in terms of the building stock and heating. That is why assistance is to be available to help people replace old oil central heating systems.
The transport sector remains a problem. In spite of improved technology and energy efficiency, CO2 emissions have not decreased in this sector. Alternative engine technology (electric engines and hydrogen fuel cell technology) will help advance climate action here too. Angela Merkel announced a number of items of legislation for the coming months.