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Baerbock: “The climate crisis is the biggest security problem for all people”

At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock advocated internationally coordinated action in the fight against global warming. “The climate crisis does not stop at borders,” says Baerbock.

At the start of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin, the German Foreign Minister called on the partner countries to jointly and intensify their efforts to combat man-made global warming. “The climate crisis is now the biggest security problem for everyone on this earth,” said the Green politician. “The climate crisis doesn’t stop at any border. That’s why the answers shouldn’t stop at any border,” emphasized Annalena Baerbock. The aim is to “be able to contain the greatest security threat of this century” together and internationally.

“Mega Exertion”

Baerbock referred to the threatening development caused by global warming in Africa, but also to the devastating fires of the past few weeks in southern Europe and the flood disaster last year in the Ahr Valley. “We have to intensify our joint efforts. Because in the past few years, “far too much time has been wasted”.

The minister spoke of a “mega effort”. At the same time, humanity finds itself in a situation “in which the global crises overlap”. This included the impact of the Russian war of aggression on global food supplies, Baerbock said.

“Boosters” for renewable energies

Even if Germany is now bringing more coal-fired power plants back on line due to the restriction on Russian gas supplies, Baerbock was convinced that the Russian war of aggression would become a “booster for the expansion of renewable energies”. Because these are “the best security guarantee for becoming independent of fossil imports and thus also becoming independent of autocratic governments worldwide”.

Chancellor Scholz warns of a global renaissance of fossil fuels

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has warned that the response to the Russian attack on Ukraine must not lead to a return of coal energy. “What must not happen to us is slipping into a global renaissance of fossil energy and especially coal,” Scholz said at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. “No one can be satisfied with the fact that the share of coal-fired power generation is increasing again in our country as a reaction to impending bottlenecks in the gas supply.” However, this is only a temporary emergency measure. “We have to get out of coal, oil, and gas – I almost said: full throttle,” added Scholz. Despite the Ukraine war and rising prices, Germany does not want to compromise on climate protection.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, organizer of the COP27 in autumn, also called global warming an extreme threat. This is a major challenge, especially for Africa. The continent needs help because it lacks the financial means to make the transition to “green technologies” and adapt to climate change on its own.

Setting the course for COP 27

Representatives from more than 40 countries are meeting in Berlin this Monday and Tuesday to prepare for the COP27 world climate conference in early November in the Egyptian coastal town of Sharm el Sheikh as part of the 13th Petersberg Climate Dialogue. This should “become a catalyst for global climate protection and a central milestone to lead the world on the 1.5-degree path,” said the federal government. Germany and Egypt are the organizers of the two-day meeting.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue was launched in 2010 by the then Chancellor Angela Merkel and brings together selected countries every year to set the course for successful negotiations at the COP World Climate Conference. From 2011-2021, the Petersberg Dialogue was organized by the environmental department. With the Foreign Ministry taking over responsibility for climate foreign policy, the 2022 conference will be held at the Federal Foreign Office for the first time.

Climate researcher Latif pessimistic

Before the meeting, climate researcher Mojib Latif said in an interview that the prospects for the development of the world climate are bleak. The goal of limiting global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times can no longer be achieved. “With today’s emissions of greenhouse gases, we will break this mark in just under ten years,” estimated Latif. You probably won’t even get two degrees. “If you take what politicians are currently doing around the world, we’re more on the three-degree course.” The world is getting closer to the point where you have to admit: “Time’s up,” said the researcher at Mediengruppe Bayern. Three degrees of global warming would be a “catastrophe”.

Climate change costs Germany more than six billion euros a year

Since 2000, climate change has caused annual damage averaging 6.6 billion euros in Germany. In total, it was around 145 billion euros. This is the result of a study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection on the costs of the consequences of climate change in Germany, which has now been published. 

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