30 Jun 2017, 00:00
Sven Egenter Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Trump climate decision 'harms trust', spurs Chinese-German leadership

Clean Energy Wire

US President Donald Trump’s decision to take the country out of the international Paris agreement on climate has harmed global trust and will also hurt the US economy, German environment minister Barbara Hendricks told company leaders at a conference on businesses and climate action. But Trump’s decision has also brought other countries, including China and India, closer together on the issue, she said. Many US federal states, cities, businesses and investors have also pledged to go ahead with climate protection regardless of the White House decision, Hendricks added.

Find more reactions out of Germany on Trump’s decision and background on its impact on the G20 talks on CLEW.

Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s chief climate diplomat Karsten Sach has stressed the need for China and Germany to show joint “pragmatic” leadership in climate protection in light of new disorder in international climate diplomacy following the decision of US President Donald Trump to pull his country out of the Paris Climate Agreement. At a conference by the Mercator Institute for China Studies (Merics) in Berlin, the climate policy director at the German environment ministry (BMUB) said Beijing’s and Berlin’s intensified climate cooperation at the G20 summit in Hamburg was needed “to show we are moving in the right direction and strive to find solutions” for mitigating and limiting global warming. Sach said this meant the two countries had to sustain collaboration on “getting carbon prices right” via a jointly developed emissions trading system, intensify common deliberation on e-mobility infrastructure and also expand on joint efforts to promote green growth opportunities in third countries, for instance in South East Asia or Africa. Germany and China may be structured very differently and disagree on a number of issues, but there also were many shared “core interests” for the two exporting nations that had only increased in importance over the last years.

For background, read the CLEW article Germany, China urge US to remain in climate agreement and the CLEW dossier G20 2017 - Climate and energy at the Hamburg summit.


Social Democratic (SPD) head of the federal parliamentary group Thomas Oppermann called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to forge a “19:1 alliance” against US President Donald Trump on climate policy, reports news agency dpa. In a speech in the German Bundestag, Oppermann said Trump wanted to divide western countries and weaken international treaties and institutions, writes dpa.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article EU leaders pledge to work for joint solution on climate at G20 and the CLEW dossier G20 2017 - Climate and energy at the Hamburg summit.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German Chancellor Angela Merkel may not want to be US President Donald Trump’s opponent, but she is, writes Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger in an opinion piece in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “This could pay off in terms of domestic politics,” as other parties had called on her to take a tougher stance, writes Frankenberger.

For background, read the CLEW article EU leaders pledge to work for joint solution on climate at G20 and the CLEW dossier G20 2017 - Climate and energy at the Hamburg summit.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

German Chancellor Angela Merkel tries to be factual and content-focussed in her clear criticism of US President Donald Trump’s policies but she is unlikely to be successful in light of the “cacophony of interests” at the G20 summit, writes Stefan Kornelius in an opinion piece in Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Germany’s predicament as hosting country: Either everyone will go home silently grumbling and without results. Or there is going to be a loud bang,” writes Kornelius.

Read the opinion piece in German here.

For background, read the CLEW article EU leaders pledge to work for joint solution on climate at G20 and the CLEW dossier G20 2017 - Climate and energy at the Hamburg summit.

Climate Home

The United States’ delegation successfully pushed for significant changes to the G20 climate and energy action plan draft during working group negotiations, reports Arthur Neslen for Climate Home. The latest draft of the plan, which was initiated by the German government with the aim to be adopted by the world’s largest economies at the Hamburg summit next week, lacked the first version’s ambitious language on energy and defined natural gas as clean technology, writes Neslen.

Read the article here.

Find reports in German media and the Clean Energy Wire on the changed draft here and here.

Allianz Climate Solutions / NewClimate Institute / Germanwatch

G20 states’ annual investments in renewable energies must almost double compared to 2015 levels to carry out measures needed to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius, according to the Allianz Climate and Energy Monitor 2017 by Allianz Climate Solutions, NewClimate Institute and Germanwatch. Germany, France and China were most attractive for investors, but emerging countries such as India and Brazil were catching up, writes Germanwatch in a press release.

Find the Germanwatch press release in German here and download the Monitor in English here.

Nature Climate Change / MCC

Climate policy should be integrated with the G20 finance ministers’ agenda in order to stay below the 2 degrees Celsius guardrail set in the Paris Agreement, a team of authors including Ottmar Edenhofer, director of Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC), write in an article in Nature Climate Change. “Finance ministers should consider the merits of carbon pricing for sound fiscal policy and thereby stimulate investments in carbon-free infrastructure,” writes MCC in a press release on the article.

Find the press release in English here and purchase the article in English here.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

German conventional energy utility RWE’s CEO Rolf Martin Schmitz says his company plans to buy new power stations as he expects electricity to become scarcer and prices to rise over the coming years, reports Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ). RWE has a majority stake in its renewables carve-out innogy, which is currently its crucial source of income, writes FAZ.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.

Die Welt

The federal economy ministry’s proposed new strategy “Energy efficiency and heat from renewable energies” could endanger Germany’s climate goals as it hindered house owners from installing modern fossil fuel-based heating systems, say conservative politicians, writes Daniel Wetzel in Die Welt. These were already cleaner than old systems and, if forbidden, owners could be inclined to keep their old systems for as long as possible because of the current price of renewables-based systems, writes Wetzel.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The Energiewende and Efficiency.

Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW)

Many more buildings than reported by the federal economy ministry can be made accessible for the new tenant power law, according to a study by Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), commissioned by the Green group in the Bundestag.

Read the press release in German here and find the study in German here.

See the CLEW dossier Cities, municipalities, and the Energiewende for more information.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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