15 Jul 2022, 13:38
Kerstine Appunn

Chancellor Scholz must demonstrate climate credibility at Berlin summit – NGO

Clean Energy Wire

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is under particular pressure to underline Germany's climate policy credibility when ministers from 40 countries meet at the 13th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on 17-19 July, NGO Germanwatch has said. "The task now is to show internationally that the new German government is accelerating the energy transition in response to the Russian war against Ukraine. It is also important that the chancellor announces the necessary money for the implementation of far-reaching international climate partnerships," said policy director Christoph Bals. After the "largely sobering climate policy results of the G7 summit" and the preliminary failure of a comprehensive emergency climate protection programme, Scholz now had to take the initiative, according to Germanwatch

Germany’s development ministry will put a focus on climate change-related loss and damages at the summit. The issue of compensating developing countries that have contributed the least but are suffering the most from global warming was one of the most fought-over topics at the UN COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow last year. At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which is held every year at a ministerial level and serves to prepare for the next high-level COP, Germany wants to continue working on the G7 “climate risk umbrella” that will help vulnerable countries with prevention plans and fast-track financing in the case of a damaging event such as a drought or flooding.

Sascha Müller-Kraenner, managing director of environmental NGO DUH, called on German Scholz to increase the federal budget for climate finance from its current 4 billion euros to 8 billion euros annually by 2025 at the latest. In addition to the expansion of renewable energy worldwide, these additional funds should also finance the growing costs of climate adaptation and a new loss and damage compensation mechanism, he said. This scheme should pay compensation whenever the reduction of emissions and climate adaptation measures fail to take effect and damages to buildings, fields or companies are sustained.

Business association German CEO Alliance for Climate and Economy (formerly Stiftung2°) said that foreign minister Annalena Baerbock and chancellor Scholz should use the opportunity to win international support for their ambitious climate policy, particularly for the concept of an international 'climate club'. At the same time, the German government should make clear that the answer to the Russian war against Ukraine and the fossil fuel import crisis is an even-faster global energy transition. "Many of us are greatly concerned about costly new fossil fuel dependencies,” said managing director Sabine Nallinger in a press release. “This is all the more reason to define how new partnerships with key countries will strengthen our energy security and accelerate the energy transition and industrial transformation, enabling us to maintain the 1.5°C limit.” 

In the past, former chancellor Angela Merkel has used the Petersberg summit, which ministers from around 40 countries are expected to attend, to make new climate pledges and announcements, particularly on climate finance. Parts of the summit will be livestreamed.

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