International govt talks in Berlin opportunity for Olaf Scholz’s climate credibility – think tank
German chancellor Olaf Scholz will have an opportunity to improve his – and the country’s – international credibility on climate when the government invites ministers from several dozen countries to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue talks in Berlin from 2-3 May, writes the think tank E3G in an opinion for Table.Media. The self-styled climate chancellor — as 2021 election campaign posters called him — had damaged his credibility by pushing for gas extraction in Senegal, supporting transport minister Volker Wissing’s “week-long blockade of negotiated EU-wide emissions standards for cars, and pressed for watering down” sector targets in the climate action law, write E3G’s Jule Koenneke and Steffen Menzel. “It will be difficult to persuade global partners to make more ambitious climate commitments or to enter into the urgently needed raw materials, hydrogen and energy partnerships if the German government fails to deliver back home,” they write. They call on Scholz to join European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in pushing for global targets for energy efficiency and renewables expansion, support the Bridgetown initiative to reform global finances, and to make an ambitious pledge on international climate finance.
In the past, former chancellor Angela Merkel has used the talks in Berlin to make climate policy announcements such as the promise to increase funds to support international climate finance. This year, the German foreign ministry has invited government representatives from about 40 countries to the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. As president of the 2023 UN climate change conference COP28, the United Arab Emirates are co-host of these informal talks, which are seen as a key stepping stone in the year’s international climate agenda, as well as an important event for German climate foreign policy.