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Greater ambition on climate protection

Photo of the opening event of the COP25 Climate Change Conference.

The COP25 Climate Change Conference is starting in Madrid today., © picture alliance / Photoshot

02.12.2019 - Article

The COP25 Climate Change Conference is starting in Madrid today. The international community will discuss the further implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement in the Spanish capital. Germany intends to assume a leading role in this regard.

The 25th Climate Change Conference (COP25) is starting in Madrid today (Monday, 2 December). COP25 is intended to send a clear message that more ambition is needed in climate protection. At the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September, 66 states – including Germany – committed to the target of climate neutrality by 2050. The aim is for net emissions to fall to zero by mid-century.

Swift and effective measures to reduce emissions are required as human-induced climate change is not only an environmental phenomenon, but also one of the main security threats of the 21st century. Rising sea levels, more frequent weather extremes and the growing risk of environmental disasters are depriving people of their livelihoods in affected regions to an ever greater extent. Climate change is therefore increasingly becoming a risk multiplier that threatens the stability of countries and societies worldwide.

Strategies for achieving climate neutrality

2020 is set to be an important year for international climate policy. The States Parties to the Paris Climate Agreement are called upon to review and, if possible, raise their climate goals next year. That also applies to the EU with its current target of a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases compared to 1990 levels.

All states must also present long-term climate strategies in line with the provisions set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. EU heads of state and government will therefore continue their consultations on the EU’s long-term strategy at the European Council on 12 and 13 December. Together with the great majority of EU member states, Germany is calling for the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 to be enshrined in the strategy.

Heiko Maas issued the following statement at the Federal Foreign Office prior to COP25:

Europe has to lead the way, because only then will countries like China and India stay on track. This means that the EU must step up its climate goals for 2030 and make them more ambitious next year.

Germany stands by its responsibility

Alongside its efforts to reduce its own emissions, Germany is supporting over 50 countries in their efforts to update their national climate change goals (Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)) with funding totalling 20 million euros. The projects in this context are conducted via the NDC Partnership, which was founded together with Morocco in 2016 and now comprises over 100 countries and 35 international institutions.

As one of the biggest donors in climate protection and adaptation to the impacts of climate change, Germany is thus standing by its responsibility. The Federal Government has set itself the goal of doubling Germany’s climate financing to four billion euros in 2020 compared with 2014. In line with this, Germany will double its contribution to the Green Climate Fund, the central multilateral instrument of international climate financing, to 1.5 billion euros.

Fine-tuning the Paris Climate Agreement

As Chile has decided that it is unable to host the conference, COP25 will now take place in Madrid from 2 to 13 December. The Federal Foreign Office is supporting the organisation of the conference to the tune of 300,000 euros. Chile continues to hold the COP Presidency and will lead the negotiations. At COP24 in Katowice, Poland, the international community succeeded in agreeing on a comprehensive rulebook on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. On this basis, from 2024 onwards all states will report on their climate protection activities in line with uniform standards.

Detailed regulations on emissions trading were not adopted in Katowice. The negotiations on this will now be continued in Madrid. The aim is to make it possible to achieve emission reductions abroad under clearly defined conditions, for example through reforestation projects. However, it must be ensured that only one country can be credited with the emissions reduction and that the reduction is not credited twice over.

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