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Climate agreement in Paris – a starting signal for global transformation?

12.11.2015

Climate change experts gathered at the Federal Foreign Office today to give a briefing on the political challenges of the upcoming United Nations conference on, and economic issues related to, climate change at the event “Climate agreement in Paris – a starting signal for global transformation?” The main goal of the presentations and discussions was to urge all countries to use the Paris conference to send a clear signal that global warming must be limited to two degrees. Participants also discussed how the necessary transformation process can be promoted, with the ultimate aim being a low-carbon global economy. More than 200 guests were in attendance, including diplomats, business representatives, scientists and researchers, as well as members of civil society. The event was hosted by the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, and the DKK German Climate Consortium.

Some statements by experts and government representatives:

Prof. Maria Böhmer, Minister of State, Federal Foreign Office

Efforts to reduce CO2 emissions worldwide are not just about climate protection. They are also about preventing crises and eradicating poverty. This will reduce the likelihood of people being forced to flee their homes or to migrate for climate-related reasons. Rapid decarbonisation is not a utopian concept – already in 2013, renewable energy accounted for more than half of all worldwide investment in the electricity sector. Today, in the run-up to Paris, many diverse actors are forming a united front, with the common aim being decarbonisation of the global economy.

Bérengère Quincy, French Ambassador for COP 21

Some 160 countries have made national contributions for the Paris agreement on climate change. These countries account for approximately 90 percent of global emissions. That is a big step in the right direction. But that will not be enough to cap global warming at two degrees. Our objective for Paris is to reach an ambitious, universal and binding agreement that includes a special mechanism to continuously raise the level of ambition. Together, we can achieve this. To do so, we will need the strong support of governments, industry and civil society.

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety

The climate conference must reach a new agreement that sends a clear signal and puts the world on track to low-carbon development. That is why we need a modern, dynamic and fair climate deal. It must be modern so as to overcome the dichotomy of industrialised and developing countries. It must be dynamic so that it can be further developed through a flexible ambition mechanism. And it must be fair in that it will adequately take into account countries’ various responsibilities and capabilities. It also needs to give countries that require adaptation and mitigation support the help they need. Therefore, I am convinced that countries will agree to an ambitious and transparent agreement.

Jennifer Morgan, The New Climate Economy, World Resources Institute

More climate protection generates better growth. Investment in low-carbon energy and infrastructure is economically beneficial and good for the climate. To make sure that warming does not exceed two degrees, we must accelerate the transformation process. That is why the Paris conference must clearly demand new investment decisions. We must redirect investment on a massive scale, in order to promote low-carbon and climate-resilient development in both the short and long term.

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