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29 Nov 2019, 13:39
Benjamin Wehrmann

'The world needs Russia' to solve climate crisis - German development minister

Clean Energy Wire

Global climate action and environmental protection can only work with an active Russian engagement, Germany's development minister Gerd Müller said at the German-Russian Resource Conference in St. Petersburg. "Mankind's survival can only be secured together. The world needs Russia to minimise the environmental and climate risks from mining and processing of raw materials," Müller said. The minister said Russia, as the largest country in the world, had enormous climate action potential both by reducing its own emissions and by protecting its vast natural carbon sinks, such as moorlands or forests. Müller also noted that Russia had ample potential for renewable hydrogen production, pointing out that Europe's demand for the gas would double by 2030. The conservative CSU politician said Germany and Russia together could be "a driver for environmental protection," adding that Germany had great interest in assisting Russia in creating an effective recycling economy that makes resource use more efficient. Russian deputy prime minister Alexey Gordeyev said the fact that his country had recently ratified its participation in the Paris Climate Agreement was proof that Russia acknowledges that certain challenges "can only be solved through international cooperation." Gordeyev said German-Russian cooperation had a long history, adding that "now it's about avoiding damages to the environment."

At the same conference one year earlier in Potsdam near Berlin, German economy minister Peter Altmaier had already stressed Russia's potential for energy transition cooperation, arguing that “Russia is blessed with resources and Germany has to import nearly all of what it needs." German-Russian energy cooperation in recent years has put a strain on Germany's intra-EU relations, with many of its neighbouring countries objecting to the construction of the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea over fears that the project will increase dependence on Russia and exclude eastern European countries from energy trading.

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