Germany adopts Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy

The German Government presents the new Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy

The German Government presents the new Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy, © Dominik Butzmann/AA/photothek.de

06.12.2023 - Article

As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28) takes place in Dubai, the German Government has adopted Germany’s first Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy. Read on to find out what the strategy envisages and why it is important for Germany’s climate foreign policy.

At the 28th Climate Change Conference in Dubai, the international community is currently negotiating concrete steps for tackling the climate crisis. The aim is to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to prevent the most serious consequences of climate change.

The Climate Change Conferences are the most visible aspect of international climate policy. Yet its toolkit is very much larger. Germany has been working in the area of climate action on the international stage for many years. The German Government’s new Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy now draws together the climate policy goals of the various ministries, aligns them with common priorities and creates a clear framework for a coherent climate foreign policy.

Climate policy is about more than protecting the environment – it is also a policy for innovation, a policy for Germany as a location for business and a policy for more security. Plus, in these geopolitically challenging times, climate policy provides an opportunity to overcome old divides in power politics. Those countries which are working together, which want to achieve something in climate policy, have the chance to get everyone on board and to lead the world to the vital 1.5 degree pathway. And in a world in which the global regulatory framework is under increasing pressure, to thereby help strengthen multilateralism.

– Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock

Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, issued the following statement:

We, as the international community, are implementing the Paris Agreement together. Germany is therefore now presenting a strategy for its climate foreign policy, that is to say for its climate policy in relation to the rest of the world – the first country to do so.

Climate action is a cross-cutting issue for our Government. This is true both nationally and internationally. As we travel towards a zero-carbon economy, we are strongest when we bring our different interests in the field of climate, energy and trade into line and coordinate them closely with our international partners. Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine has shown us that a secure, climate-neutral and low-cost energy supply not only is an important part of our efforts to tackle the climate crisis, but also plays a major role in placing our security of supply on strong internal and external foundations, and in offering disadvantaged regions in this world new opportunities for value creation and more socially just development. This is now also a principle of our climate foreign policy.

The Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy is the world’s most comprehensive strategy of this kind. It firmly aligns Germany’s actions to the Paris Agreement and defines six fields of climate policy action. As a cross-cutting task of the Government, climate will also be anchored in an institutional framework. Germany will therefore expand its network of Core Climate Embassies. A regular meeting of State Secretaries from various ministries will coordinate the cooperation and ensure strategic foresight. For Germany is one of the largest contributors of international climate finance and thus one of the most important partners in the green transition worldwide.

The strategy also sends the message to the rest of the world that Germany is leading the way in international climate action and is a reliable partner who acts with solidarity. Germany is keen to cooperate with key countries for climate action, including Brazil, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa, Viet Nam, India and also China. For instance, at the recent German-Brazilian intergovernmental consultations in Berlin, the two countries agreed on a partnership for a sustainable transition. We intend to intensify our cooperation with other countries in the area of energy, for example, on hydrogen, and on social aspects of climate action.

Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, issued the following statement:

Climate action can only succeed as a team effort. There are so many interrelated factors, which is why good coordination within the German Government is so important. The success of the energy transition in Germany also depends on the conditions in our partner countries, where we source raw materials for things like batteries and green hydrogen. At the same time, there is a lot we can do to help mitigate climate change in other countries. The Development Ministry can engage its global partnerships here, and will further increase its political involvement.

Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection issued the following statement:

We need strong partners worldwide to tackle the enormity of the challenges posed by the rapidly advancing climate crisis. We need to take an integrated approach to addressing climate action and adaptation, biodiversity conservation and pollution. We do not have time to deal with these crises one at a time. This is why we are supporting our partners worldwide in conserving their forests, peatlands and mangroves. With the German Government’s Strategy on Climate Foreign Policy, we are collaborating with our partners to achieve comprehensive climate action. Ultimately, nature conservation fosters climate action, and climate action protects nature.


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