SPD chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz proposes international climate organisation
German federal finance minister Olaf Scholz has proposed the creation of an international organisation of countries to lead the way in climate protection, Andreas Niesmann writes for news agency Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). According to a key issues paper from the Ministry of Finance, the organisation would develop common goals for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, define uniform standards for their measurement, and protect countries that are willing to implement climate protection measures from the disadvantages of international competition. According to the document, national economies can only be sustainable over the long term with ambitious reductions in emissions. At the same time, countries should not suffer disadvantages in the short or medium term due to climate protection efforts. An international climate organisation could overcome this dilemma. Its members would commit to common minimum standards for climate policy measures, which would in turn “create a reliable framework and establish an international lead market for climate-friendly investments." In order to encourage membership, Scholz suggests close technological and political cooperation between member states in fields such as hydrogen production.
Scholz, who is currently campaigning as chancellor candidate for the left-of-centre Social Democratic Party (SPD), is also proposing the acceptance of a 2050 zero emissions target along with an ambitious 2030 interim goal as possible conditions for admission into the club. In addition, member countries would have to agree on uniform rules for CO2 accounting of goods, particularly in the production of cement, steel, aluminium, chemical products, fertilizers, glass and paper. Members would also have to agree on a uniform method for calculating the explicit and implicit CO2 prices in their energy and industrial sectors.
Together with environment minister Svenja Schulze (also SPD), Scholz has presented himself as a driving force behind bringing forward Germany's new climate neutrality target to 2045 this month.