Petersberg Climate Dialogue: Our Shared Responsibility for the Global Climate
Enlarge image Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier at the Petersberg Dialogue (© Bundesregierung/Kugler)
At the close of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier once again urged all paticipants to redouble their efforts to protect the global climate. A new agreement is to be hammered out by 2015.
“A great many states are already making huge efforts to curb their emissions and mitigate climate change. That alone will not, however, be enough to keep the rise in global temperatures under the 2°C mark. We will all have to redouble our efforts," Peter Altmaier declared on July 17.
The minister specially welcomed the fact that many of the states attending the Petersberg Dialogue already intend to take additional steps to curb increases in emissions ahead of the 2020 deadline. He praised the efforts of the major emerging economies, Brazil, China, India, Mexicoand South Africa. In other industrialized countries too though and in many of the least developed states much is already being done to keep emissions down, he said.
Speaking one day earlier, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "The next Climate Change Conference in Doha must give climate change mitigation an urgently needed new impetus". All states must get involved if a new climate agreement is to be negotiated by 2015 and realized as of 2020.
Sustainable business for the climate
Enlarge image Chancellor Merkel spoke at the Petersberg meeting in Berlin on July 16. (© picture alliance / dpa) A new understanding of growth is needed, because economic activities must be undertaken for the good of the people, said the Chancellor. She underscored the fact that although all countries share the responsibility for protecting our climate, their responsibilities vary. The consequences of simply carrying on as we have to date would be terrible, and the 2°C limit would be unachievable.
That is why something will have to change. It will not be easy and we will have to overcome many fears, but it is still the best option for everybody in the world, declared Angela Merkel. A new growth concept across all policy fields, can be taken as the basis for a sustainable path to growth. We can no longer see growth purely in quantitative terms.
The shift to more sustainable energy sources – an international issue
Enlarge image International delegations from 30 countries gather in Berlin for the conference to prepare for the upcoming U.N. climate conference in Qatar. (© picture alliance / dpa) It is important to decouple resource consumption from economic growth. Germany, with its shift towards more sustainable energy sources, is helping put its energy supply on a new footing. It is not easy, because all three guiding principles – energy must be affordable, safe and environmentally acceptable – must be taken equally into account. "If this project is successful, it can point the way towards a more sustainable energy supply for other countries too," said the Chancellor.
In his opening address Peter Altmaier declared that the next Climate Change Conference in Qatarmust produce concrete results. "Here, today, we intend to get international climate protection efforts back on the road," he underscored. In this way, sustainable economic activities can help overcome crises.
In negotiations on a new climate agreement it must be made quite clear that climate change mitigation is not an obstacle to economic growth, but an important element of and indeed a precondition for that growth, continued the Federal Environment Minister.
The Petersberg Climate Dialogue dates back to a personal initiative of the Chancellor at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in 2009. Since then it has served to prepare the ground for UN Climate Change Conferences and to build bridges in international climate efforts. The third Petersberg Climate Dialogue was co-chaired by Germanyand Qatar, which will be hosting the next United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha. The invited guests represented the various groups within international climate negotiations.
Representatives of more than 30 states attended the third Petersberg Dialogue to pave the way for the next UN Climate Change Conference, which is to be held at the end of the year in Doha, Qatar. The agenda included specific climate change mitigation strategies at national level and possible avenues for increased cooperation on climate change mitigation as well as the new climate agreement.
The aims of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue
The dialogue, initiated by Germanyis intended to get the dialogue process, which became somewhat bogged down in the wake of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, back on track. Since then every Petersberg Climate Dialogue has been held jointly with the nation hosting the next conference.
The aim is to facilitate informal discussions outside the framework of the major UN conferences at regular intervals. Ongoing discussion is important to build mutual trust, credibility and cooperation in the field of international climate policy.
Results to date
Progress has been made since Copenhagen. In Durban in 2011 all countries agreed for the first time to draw up a joint climate agreement. The Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012, is also to be extended.
Financing of adjustment measures, and the technology and know-how transfer as of 2012 has also been secured. The Green Climate Fund will become operational before the end of the year. It was the brainchild of the Cancún Conference and Germanyhas offered to host the Fund.
German engagement abroad for the global climate
Since 2008 Germany’s spending on international climate change mitigation and adjustment measures has risen to 1.5 billion euros (from a level of 900 million euros).
The Federal Environment Ministry promotes climate projects worth a total of 120 million euros every year, through the International Climate Initiative.