“We want a paradigm shift in international climate policy”

Federal Chancellor Scholz addresses the virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum “We want a paradigm shift in international climate policy”

In his speech to the World Economic Forum, Federal Chancellor Scholz stressed that Germany intends to use its presidency of the G7 this year to turn the group into “the nucleus of an international Climat e Club”. In his speech, Scholz identified the three key criteria for the Climate Club he hopes to establish.

Federal Chancellor Scholz addresses the virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum

In his speech at the digital meeting of the World Economic Forum, Federal Chancellor Scholz said the 2020s should be “a decade of transformation and progress”.

Photo: Federal Government/Kugler

“Working together, restoring trust” was the motto of this year's meeting of the World Economic Forum. Since the beginning of January, Germany has been holding talks with Russia in a range of formats to deescalate the situation on its border with Ukraine. “After years of rising tensions, staying silent is not a sensible option,” said Federal Chancellor Scholz in his speech to the World Economic Forum, in which he stressed that the basis for these talks was recognising Ukraine's territorial integrity and committing to the European peace order. The Federal Chancellor emphasised his view that “lobal public goods can only be preserved through international cooperation, and peace is the most important of those goods.”

Global vaccination campaigns 

In his speech, Scholz also noted that the coronavirus pandemic could only be overcome through “the power of cooperation”. He called for a “truly global immunisation campaign” to break the cycle of new variants of the virus emerging. The aim is to for 70 percent of the world's population to have access to vaccines by the middle of this year.

Germany, as the second largest donor to the COVAX global vaccine campaign, will continue to do its part. Scholz also announced that a key focus of Germany's G7 Presidency would be on improving the international health infrastructure. He also called on other partners to contribute, especially from the private sector. For the Federal Chancellor, fully funding the global vaccination campaign would be “the booster shot our economies need.”

G7 to form the nucleus of a Climate Club

In Scholz’s view, Germany and Europe alone cannot avert the climate crisis. “The effects of man-made climate change are felt by everyone, in every corner of the world.” Under Germany’s G7 Presidency this year, the G7 will therefore become the “nucleus of an international Climate Club.

The key features of the intended Climate Club will be:

  • A commitment to the 1.5 degree target and to climate neutrality by 2050 at the latest
  • Taking swift action to achieve these goals, such as through carbon pricing
  • Respecting World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and cooperating with other countries

“We want nothing less than a paradigm shift in international climate policy. We will no longer wait for the slowest and least ambitious,” Scholz stressed. In the Federal Chancellor's view, climate protection can become a competitive advantage.

The World Economic Forum is a not-for-profit foundation. It holds its annual general meeting each year in Davos. Leading international economics experts, politicians, intellectuals and journalists come together at the meeting to discuss current global issues. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the meeting is taking place virtually for the second time.