11 Oct 2023, 13:42
Benjamin Wehrmann

Climate action requires economic growth to prove it doesn't undermine prosperity – Scholz

Clean Energy Wire

Effective climate action in Germany and Europe will require sustained economic growth to demonstrate that a more sustainable way of living is possible without giving up prosperity, German chancellor Olaf Scholz has said in a speech at the country’s Sustainable Development Council (RNE). “Our task is to enable growth without destroying the planet,” he said at the RNE’s annual conference, arguing that only a capable and competitive economy would allow Germany to conduct the investments needed for transforming the economy while maintaining a leading position, and serve as a role model at a global scale. “The countries of the global South will not let us tell them to forego growth in order to save the climate.” The significant reduction in poverty around the world over the past 30 years could primarily be traced back to economic development and growth. “And that’s why it is so important that we here in Europe develop the requisite technologies, try them out and show the whole world: it works,” Scholz said, adding that Germany especially had to greatly speed up its efforts to roll out renewable power installations.

The chancellor said the “classic industrialised states” historically are responsible for a large part of greenhouse gas emissions – “even if countries like China by now have giant emitters themselves.” He stressed that Germany has tripled its contributions to international climate action funding to 6 billion euros since 2014 and that industrialised countries would likely raise up to 100 billion euros. However, “we also expect countries that traditionally have not been donors to contribute to international climate finance in the future,” he added.

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