Limiting climate change is proving successful

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15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue Limiting climate change is proving successful

Delegates from around 40 countries are meeting at this year’s Petersberg Climate Dialogue at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin to prepare for the UN Climate Change Conference in Azerbaijan. The focus of this year’s dialogue is on funding for climate change mitigation measures.

Petersberg Climate Dialogue at the Federal Foreign Office

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is hosting the Petersberg Climate Dialogue at the Federal Foreign Office. The talks are centred on climate protection financing.

Photo: Federal Government / Kugler

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue is being held in preparation for this year’s COP29--UN Climate Change Conference, which will take place in Baku, Azerbaijan, and will therefore be hosted by both Germany (as always) and Azerbaijan, which will be hosting the COP29--UN Climate Change Conference in Baku. The conference was opened by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan, also took part, as did Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Representatives from 40 countries convened at the Federal Foreign Office. Among those representing the Federal Government were Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and Svenja Schulze, Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz summed up the situation in his speech at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue: “We need to get faster and better, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Paris climate agreement takes effect

In his speech, the Federal Chancellor first looked at the bigger picture and stressed the fact that collaborative efforts to limit climate change were proving successful. All countries have presented national climate protection plans for the current decade, which shows that the mechanism set out in the Paris Climate Agreement is having an effect. “The transformation towards climate neutrality is irreversible”, said Scholz, adding that there would be no going back to the fossil fuel era. “This,” he said with reference to the resolutions agreed at the previous World Climate Conference, “is demonstrated by the Dubai consensus on tripling renewable energy plants, doubling the energy efficiency rate, and transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels.”

New climate targets needed

Scholz emphasised the fact that the focus this year would be on all countries setting new climate targets which would pave the way for a climate-neutral economy and noted that because 80 per cent of all emissions were caused by the G20 economies, the targets set by these countries would determine whether the 1.5-degree target will continue to be achievable. Despite phasing out nuclear energy, he said, Germany was able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by almost half last year compared to 1990.

Climate protection financing as a global task

This year, a new climate protection financing target for the post-2025 period will be negotiated in Baku. Therefore, said Scholz, it not just a matter of pushing forward future technologies, but of financing the dispersal of these technologies around the world. The Federal Chancellor emphasised the fact that investing in climate protection was also a global task. The Federal Government pledged its ongoing support for poorer countries and those particularly threatened by climate change, but also advocated the further development of the international financial architecture, which would include reforming the World Bank and other multilateral development banks. These institutions, he said, would also have to be integrated into the economy to enable future investments to be orientated towards climate targets. The global energy transition, he said, could only succeed given sufficient private investment in environmentally friendly energy production facilities and technologies.

Climate club for greater cooperation

Through its Climate Club, which Germany and Chile along with a further 38 member states are continuing to promote, Germany was making a tangible contribution, said Scholz. The aim of the Climate Club, he said, was to help increase “cooperation, transparency and convergence in the decarbonisation of industrial sectors”.

The first concrete objective, he explained, was to agree on a common standard for green steel by the start of the 2024 World Climate Conference. His goal, as the Federal Chancellor explained, was to achieve closer coordination in terms of industrial restructuring, among other things with regard to the effect of subsidies, the development of green markets, and the avoidance of new barriers to trade. It was also important, he added, to provide better support for developing and newly industrialising countries in order that they too would be able to transition to climate-friendly industrial processes more rapidly.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue was launched by former Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2010. Delegates from selected countries meet there each year to prepare for negotiations at the COP--UN Climate Change Conference. Only the first climate dialogue was actually held at the eponymous Petersberg in Bonn; since then, the participants have met in Berlin, specifically at the Federal Foreign Office as of 2022. The conference is co-hosted by the country due to hold the presidency at the next Climate Change Conference. The upcoming COP29 Climate Change Conference will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, between 11 November and 22 November 2024.