On his first day in office, US President Biden prepared the ground for the United States to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change. Even before his inauguration, he appointed former US State Secretary John Kerry as his Special Envoy for Climate Change, thereby sending the clear message that the US is back as a partner in the fight against global warming. On 17 May, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and US Special Envoy for Climate Change Kerry met again for talks in Berlin.
Joint engagement to implement the Paris climate goals
In the Paris Agreement on climate change, the States Parties agreed to restrict global warming to 1.5 degrees, or a maximum of 2 degrees. Under the Agreement, all States Parties must present a plan of how they intend to become climate neutral by the mid‑21st century before the next climate conference COP26, to take place in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November. To achieve these goals it is important to join forces at a transatlantic level. Diplomacy has a crucial role to play in this task. Another objective must be to convince other partners worldwide to take more steps towards climate change mitigation: these include the major emitters within the G20 as well as countries with economies that are dependent on the export of fossil fuels and which still view a carbon-neutral future with concern. Another important issue for the ministers was the security dimension of climate change.
Transatlantic climate change mitigation and cooperation on the energy transition
Germany works with the United States in the field of climate protection at all levels. Areas of cooperation include the Transatlantic Climate Bridge, which was established in 2008 as a joint initiative of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety with Canada and the United States. In the past four years, collaboration has taken place chiefly at municipal level and between enterprises and civil society organisations. With the new US Administration, this cooperation will be rejuvenated. In future, another important field of collaboration will be renewable energies. The global energy transition is essential in the fight against global warming. Climate-neutral hydrogen and its derivatives in particular will play a crucial role in decarbonisation.