Getting the World on Track to Meet the 1.5-Degree Target

The German Chancellor in the Climate Change Conference in Dubai

December 04th, 2023
Editorial, News from Berlin
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Mitigating climate change while securing prosperity in the world and enabling further growth: this was the aim of COP28, said Federal Chancellor Scholz. 

Tackling the climate crisis: this is what the Federal Government will be working towards at the 28thClimate Change Conference in Dubai. Important points include accelerated expansion of renewable energies and a more rapid phase-out of fossil fuels. This will enable Germany to drive forward the climate-friendly restructuring of the economy and society. After all, Germany continues to be a climate pioneer, and climate change is the great global challenge of our time.

In his speech, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said: “We have all the means necessary to meet these challenges. The technologies are there: wind power, photovoltaics, electric motors, green hydrogen. More gigawatts of renewable energy were connected to the grid in 2022 than ever before.” Germany was actively driving these developments forward, said the Federal Chancellor.

Read the full speech here:

Launch of the Climate Club

The Climate Club will be a pivotal instrument in achieving this goal. Immediately after his arrival on 1 December, Federal Chancellor Scholz joined Chile’s Foreign Minister, Alberto van Klaveren, in co-hosting the launch of the Climate Club. With 36 members, the club is now fully operational: “As members of the Climate Club, we’re committed to working together to develop the right strategies and standards for a carbon-free industry. Our aim is to coordinate our approaches so that we can compare efforts,” said the Federal Chancellor. He noted that the club members did not just come from all regions of the world, they also shared the belief that climate change was the greatest challenge of the 21st century.

The Climate Club was established in 2022 at the G7 Summit in Elmau under the German presidency. It aims to support the rapid and ambitious implementation of the Paris Agreement so as to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, primarily focusing on accelerating the decarbonisation of industry. A joint task force has already drawn up an initial programme of activities for 2024. The concept here was “to make the most of the transformation we’re all working towards so as to create prosperity and sound jobs worldwide,” said the Federal Chancellor. It was crucial to provide support for the countries of the Global South so that they could achieve climate-neutrality in the industrial sector quickly – without having to compromise on their right to development, said Scholz.

The Climate Club currently has 36 members, including 35 countries and the EU Commission: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Luxembourg, Mozambique, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, the United Kingdom and the USA.

“I firmly believe, by the way, that there will be even more of us by the next COP,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz.

The Federal Chancellor put forward his idea of a Climate Club at COP27. As an intergovernmental forum, it is open to all countries committed to full implementation of the Paris Agreement and the resolutions subsequently adopted on this basis.  

No one can escape the climate crisis

Negotiations at COP28 will be led by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and the State Secretary of the Federal Foreign Office and Special Envoy for International Climate Policy, Jennifer Morgan, and they will be conducted by an inter-ministerial team of experts.

“Nobody can escape the climate crisis, wherever they may be in the world,” said Foreign Minister Baerbock. “It affects us all – everywhere on the planet. Eight years ago, when the Paris climate targets were agreed on, renewable energies were still seen as an investment risk. Today they offer an enormous economic opportunity,” continued the Foreign Minister.

The most important task at this year’s Climate Change Conference is a global stocktake. In accordance with the Paris Agreement, this is the first review of where the signatory states stand on climate action. It will also provide the basis for new national climate targets for the period after 2030. According to Foreign Minister Baerbock, the aim at the conference in Dubai is to agree on three resolutions: “To triple renewable energy by 2030, to double energy efficiency and to gradually phase-out fossil fuels.” 

This stocktake makes COP28 a particularly important global climate change conference on the path towards implementing the Paris Agreement.

Countries have to be more ambitious

The Federal Government has already passed an ambitious package of legislation to expand renewable energy in Germany: 80 percent of electricity is to come from renewables by 2030, and as much as 100 percent by 2035. “This is why we’ve cut red tape in the EU and Germany by accelerating planning procedures in the expansion of renewable energies,” said the Federal Chancellor in his speech: “In this way, we’ve been able to increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity supply to a new record high – from 45 percent three years ago to almost 60 percent today.”

The Federal Government is also supporting the international market ramp-up of hydrogen so as to meet demand in the future, as well as actively promoting issues such as shipping and pipeline corridors, along with the relevant regulations and standards.

International climate financing

Being a pioneer also means supporting the poorest countries and giving their populations access to energy, thereby providing a new, sustainable basis for prosperity.

Germany stands firmly alongside those who are most severely affected, and this includes meeting climate finance commitments. For example, the Federal Government provided more than six billion euros in public funds for international climate financing last year, three years ahead of the target year of 2025. The Federal Government has also co-established a Loss and Damage Fund.

Loss and Damage Fund

The climate crisis is causing extreme weather events which are having a devastating impact, and suitable adaptive measures are needed so that people all over the world are better protected from the consequences. Germany is looking to implement and organise the Loss and Damage Fund at COP28 in order to support the most vulnerable.

At the very beginning of the Climate Change Conference, for example, Germany and the United Arab Emirates pledged 200 million US dollars (around 183 million euros) to compensate for climate damage in particularly vulnerable countries. “It’s crucial to us for this new fund to benefit the most vulnerable countries and for as many of us to support it as possible. After all, the countries whose prosperity has grown so enormously over the last three decades share a responsibility here, since they now account for a large share of global emissions,” said Scholz.

The green transformation is also opening up further opportunities worldwide for development, growth and a fairer distribution of prosperity. Germany works with its partners around the world to make the most of these opportunities on a collaborative basis.


News from Berlin