“Living up to the responsibility”
At the end of the meeting, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and ministers Robert Habeck and Christian Lindner presented the results. The Federal Government is planning climate-friendly and innovative policies at both national and international level. Scholz emphasised that this new beginning will be more effective if it is the result of teamwork rather than being pursued in isolation. He also referred to the responsibility for the future of our planet and the need to “put an end to man-made climate change”.
G7 Presidency programme
Germany took over the G7 Presidency on 1 January 2022. This is a great opportunity to move forward the response to global challenges such as climate action and global health. “We want to contribute to coordinated policy aimed at combating climate change. There will also be an agreement on the issue of a Climate Club,” said Scholz. “This will be a club that is open to many and will enhance our capacity to actually stop climate change.” The best way to achieve this was for democratic industrialised countries to lead the way in particular, said the Federal Chancellor.
Germany’s Presidency would focus on sustainability issues, added Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Habeck after the meeting. This was a “real cross-cutting issue”, he added. The global market should be organised in a way that benefits those who are committed to the future of the planet, said Habeck. Finance Minister Lindner emphasised the international importance of stable currencies and strong economies. “This is crucial because debt levels have increased all over the world as a result of the pandemic.”
Investment in the future has to be accelerated
At its closed meeting, the Federal Government discussed how Germany could become a climate-neutral industrial nation by 2045, how the digital infrastructure could be improved and how pressing problems such as housing construction could be addressed more quickly. “All of this means we need to be faster – a lot faster – than we currently are in Germany,” said the Federal Chancellor.
Speed was also important when it came to the issue of “how to produce enough renewable energy”, he said – whether by means of wind turbines or by upgrading the power grid. Planning and approval procedures needed to be streamlined and expansion targets redefined for this purpose, he said.
Habeck said it was not possible to achieve the energy transition within the existing planning timeframes, adding that a few “old habits” would have to be done away with.
Finance Minister Lindner added that the Federal Government had already made the most of its closed session to collect ideas on how to speed up planning and construction procedures for a climate-friendly infrastructure and energy supply. The aim was to achieve initial results by the summer and then incorporate these into legislation.