2015: crucial year for climate protection

19.06.2015 - Article

Germany is working to achieve a new global climate protection agreement. On 17 June, the second Climate Diplomacy Day was celebrated in Berlin and around the world.

Germany is working towards a new global agreement on climate protection. 17 June saw the second Climate Diplomacy Day celebrated in Berlin and around the world. You can read about the activities on Facebook and Twitter under #ClimateDiploDay.

Climate protection is everyone’s business.
Climate protection is everyone’s business.© Photothek/Grabowsky

Climate change poses one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reiterates that climate change is caused by human activity and that the earth’s temperature is still rising. The international community must unite in taking determined action in order to limit the temperature rise to 2°C.

The effects of the rise in temperature can be felt all around the world and have taken on a serious scale. The oceans are becoming warmer, glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising and we are seeing ever more frequent and severe instances of extreme weather events. This poses economic and security challenges which cannot be addressed at the national or regional level alone. That is why foreign policy plays such a significant role in curbing climate change.

Berlin: Joint panel discussion at the French Embassy on Climate Diplomacy Day
Berlin: Joint panel discussion at the French Embassy on Climate Diplomacy Day© Photothek/Imo

European Climate Diplomacy Day

For many years, the Federal Foreign Office has been actively advocating environmental protection at bilateral and multilateral negotiations and has been organising events which aim to raise awareness about climate protection. The Federal Foreign Office set up Climate Diplomacy Day in 2014 together with the UK Foreign Office and France. This event took place for the second time on 17 June 2015.

Together with European partners, the German missions abroad organised a range of different actions to raise awareness about climate change and the need to act. The aim was to use Climate Diplomacy Day to send a joint European message.

Berlin: the expert panel with Aylett, Schulz, Jouin and Klepper (from left to right)
Berlin: the expert panel with Aylett, Schulz, Jouin and Klepper (from left to right)© Photothek/Imo

Franco-German-British action in Berlin...

In Berlin, the Federal Foreign Office collaborated with the French and British Embassies to organise a panel discussion on the topic of climate change on Wednesday evening. Director for Globalisation, Energy and Climate Policy at the Federal Foreign Office Peter Fischer welcomed the many guests together with French Ambassador Etienne Jacob and Nick Leake from the British Embassy. During the ensuing discussion on the question “How does climate change concern you?” the panellists used local, national and international examples to provide a vivid depiction of the extent to which climate change and climate protection affect the spheres of business and politics as well as the every day lives of individuals.

With Professor Gernot Klepper, Laura Aylett and Patrick Jouin, the panel featured three climate protection experts from Germany, Great Britain and France. Chaired by Sabrina Schulz from the British climate think tank E3G, the discussion highlighted the fact that climate protection is a pressing and multifaceted topic. The panellists agreed that action was urgently needed to reduce global warming to 2°C.

The some 100 guests made a lively contribution to the debate in the French Embassy. Many interested inhabitants of Berlin sat alongside climate protection experts in the diverse audience.

Programme of the panel discussion on 17 June in the French Embassy in Berlin PDF / 42 KB

Arrival at the Quai d’Orsay: French Foreign Minister Fabius waits to greet German and European diplomats arriving by bike.
Arrival at the Quai d’Orsay: French Foreign Minister Fabius waits to greet German and European diplomats arriving by bike.© French Ministry of Foreign Affairs / F. de la Mure

... and European action around the world

Whilst the discussion in Berlin was shining a light on the breadth and complexity of the topic of climate change, in Ankara pedestrians were eagerly picking up spades and taking part in an action to plant trees organised by the German Embassy for Climate Diplomacy Day.

The Embassy personnel in Paris were also active: together with German Ambassador Susanne Wasum-Rainer and diplomats from other European countries they cycled to the French Foreign Ministry where they were greeted by France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. As host of the World Climate Summit in December 2015, this year France is playing a particularly important role.

On the day of action yesterday, in many different countries over 50 German missions abroad cooperated with their French, British and other European partners as well as the local European Union delegations to organise a variety of activities for European Climate Diplomacy Day.

European Climate Diplomacy Day sent a message all around the world: Together with our European and international partners, Germany is gearing up to achieve a binding, globally applicable agreement on climate protection in Paris. We will only be able to limit global warming to 2°C and properly protect our earth’s climate if we take determined action now.

Aim: a climate agreement in Paris

This year, Climate Diplomacy Day activities focused on the international climate agreement set to be adopted in Paris in December. The planned agreement will also cover adaptation to climate change and questions of funding international climate protection efforts. The target is to provide up to 100 billion US dollars of private and public funding annually from 2020 onwards.

Germany is committed to a new, binding climate agreement through which all countries pledge to implement measures to protect our climate. The EU has already announced its goal of reducing its emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Germany is aiming for a 40% reduction by 2020.

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