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11 Jul 2022, 12:21
Hannah Naylor

Loss and damage to be at centre of Germany’s international climate policy – foreign min

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s foreign minister has reassured small island states that suffer the most from climate change that Germany will deliver on its climate financing promises and indicated support in the “difficult conversations” on climate impacts and loss and damage. During a visit to the western Pacific island country Palau, Annalena Baerbock said “No region is suffering more from the climate crisis than you do, even though your share of global greenhouse gas emission is one of the smallest. This is blatant injustice.”

Despite Russia’s war against Ukraine and the need to let coal plants run longer in the short term, the minister said that Germany was not backing away from the target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C, but rather the opposite, aiming to increase the rate of transition away from fossil fuel energy sources.

The minister emphasised that Germany wanted to help minimise the impact of climate change on people’s lives and assist in building new livelihoods where destruction is already irreversible. “That is why we, as industrialised countries, must finally deliver on our 100 billion US dollars commitment for climate financing.” She said that another focus must now be on the area of loss and damage. “This is an issue we haven’t talked enough about for a very long time. And it really is about financing,” she said. "It is something which I want to put in the centre of our international climate policy."

Loss and damages because of climate change, such as damaged buildings, destroyed livelihoods and even deaths, have predominantly affected developing countries. In large part this is due to extreme weather events, such as storms and drought, and also rising sea levels, which threaten to inundate entire nations. The UN climate conference COP27 in Egypt this year will have a focus on minimising and adapting to such losses caused by climate change, and on financial support for developing countries to deal with them.

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