The beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era

  • Federal Chancellor
  • Olaf Scholz

  • News

  • Chancellery

  • Service

Historic conclusion to the 28th UN Climate Change Conference The beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era

For the first time the international community has agreed to transition away from the use of coal, oil and gas. This is good news for the climate. The decision to expand renewable energy is also cause for optimism.


Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s Federal Foreign Minister welcomed the agreement of the COP28 Conference on Wednesday and stressed the importance of international climate justice.

Photo: IMAGO/photothek/Sebastian Rau

Tackling the climate crisis was the focus of the intense efforts by the Federal Government at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference. The compromise which has been reached by all states attending the conference shows that the era of fossil fuels is drawing to an inevitable conclusion. This has come about as, for the first time, the international community has agreed to transition away from the use of coal, oil and gas. The compromise ensures that the objectives of the Paris Agreement remain within reach, which is good news for international climate protection.

Before the end of the conference Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stressed that the transition away from fossil fuels would promote security and justice and create an economy which is fit for the future. At the same time, she said that “work will go on tomorrow. We are walking the path of climate justice together, hand in hand with our partners around the world.”

Renewable energy to be expanded

Another important resolution gives cause for hope with plans to treble renewable energy capacity by 2030 and double energy efficiency. This puts expanding renewable energy at the top of the list of priorities for energy policy around the world. Federal Chancellor Scholz had repeatedly campaigned for progress on this specific issue.

In his speech at the beginning of the conference, the Federal Chancellor 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.

Federal Minister Robert Habeck welcomed the outcome of the summit, describing the commitment to a massive expansion of wind and solar energy by 2030 as “a clear signal to businesses, markets and investments that the energy of the future is renewable and used efficiently.”

Launch of the Climate Club

The Climate Club provides another lever with which to fight climate change. 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.

Including the European Commission the Climate Club now numbers 36 members: 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.

Germany makes ambitious progress

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.

At the same time as COP 28, the Federal Government has adopted the first-ever climate foreign policy strategy. Germany aims to set the pace in climate protection. Working in partnership with other states and non-state actors, we aim to manage the impacts of the climate crisis and help shape the transformation of the economy towards social justice and economic success. The strategy aims to target Federal Government structures and tools at achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement

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.