21 Nov 2022, 13:57
Sören Amelang

German government disappointed with “far from sufficient” COP27 results

Clean Energy Wire

The UN climate conference COP27 in Egypt did not deliver what is needed to mitigate the rise in global temperatures, the German government has said. “The steps adopted to reduce emissions are far from sufficient in view of the dramatic effects that the climate crisis is already having today,” foreign minister Annalena Baerbock said in a joint statement with the ministries for the environment, international development, and economy and climate. “The gap to 1.5 degrees Celsius remains wide open, and some countries have blocked all attempts to close it,” she argued. Economy and climate minister Robert Habeck also said he was not satisfied with the results of what he called a “difficult” conference, adding that at least it didn’t fall behind previous COPs in Paris and Glasgow. “The overall outcome of COP27 falls short of what is needed,” environment minister Steffi Lemke commented.

But the ministers highlighted the agreement on a fund to help poor countries that are affected by climate change as real progress. The so-called loss and damage fund opens “a new chapter” for climate justice, Baerbock said. Development minister Svenja Schulze said the fund represented a “breakthrough” proving that bridges were being built between rich and poor nations. “In the concrete design of the fund, I will make sure that all those who have contributed to the climate disaster have to pay in. This includes above all the largest emitters, the USA, China and, of course, the EU.”

German media commentators drew similar conclusions from the conference. Even if the loss and damage fund is a true breakthrough, its money “can only dampen the effects of climate hell. It does not offer a way out,” wrote Alexandra Endres for Zeit Online, adding that emission reduction results remain “painfully inadequate – a clear failure.” China is mainly to blame for the disappointing results, because it “continues to be in the company of those who are basically indifferent” to climate protection, like Saudi Arabia and Russia, Michael Bauchmüller wrote in Süddeutsche Zeitung.    

Germany and the EU often consider themselves leaders in the fight against climate change, but European countries stand accused of climate hypocrisy, as they call on others to do more to reduce emissions, while at the same time buying up the world’s fossil fuel resources to secure domestic energy supply amid the fallout of Russia's war on Ukraine.

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