Even when the flood subsides, we don’t have anywhere to go. No food, no money to buy cement, no money to rent a new house.“
Those are the words of Habeebat Lawal from Nigeria.
Parts of her country are under water. 1.4 million Nigerians had to leave their homes and many have been killed by the floods.
It is a blatant injustice: people like Habeebat, people from Nigeria, from Somalia, from Pakistan, suffer tremendously from the climate crisis – even though they have contributed next to nothing to its creation.
That is why Germany is putting climate justice at the top of our agenda.
I know that many of you – especially the Pacific Island states – have been calling for this for almost three decades.
Today, I am here to tell you, as Germany’s Foreign Minister: we hear you! We have understood!
I still remember my first COP in Paris in 2015 – as a parliamentarian. Back then, many island states, many NGOs, many parliamentarians like myself were fighting very hard for the industrialised countries to even talk about loss and damage, to acknowledge it as an issue.
But again and again, we ran up against walls.
Now, at COP27, the issue is a key subject in the negotiating rooms. Finally!
I call on everyone: let us seize this opportunity.
Let’s not waste time arguing about mechanisms that reflect the world of 1992 while we already live, in 2022, in a 1.2 degree world.
Let us take responsibility. That is why we are here as politicians.
Let us stand up for the damage the emissions all major emitters have caused – for people like Habeebat. There are thousands of people like her.
Let us work on concrete measures, on concrete solutions, creating a mosaic that helps the most vulnerable people.
This is not about charity. It is a question of justice, a question of security for our common future.
And I want to be crystal clear: this will cost money.
We are not stepping away from our obligation to reach 100 billion US dollars in climate finance.
Germany is raising its contribution to six billion euro per year.
But even 100 billon is just a drop in the ocean when we look at what is needed.
Together with the private sector, we have to shift trillions into the right channels.
At the moment, our global financial architecture is not fit for this purpose.
Barbados has proposed innovative ideas for reforms. And we want to follow up on these proposals.
But working towards big visions also means moving forward with concrete action on the ground to help people cope with this crisis now.
Because the climate crisis is already there.
We therefore set up a Global Shield Against Climate Risks. Not as an excuse, but to help now. People like Habeebat cannot wait until we set up a new instrument in the future. They need help now.
That is why we presented the Shield here at the COP, and we also want to encourage other countries to pay their share for loss and damage. It finances specific projects – for example, buying new seeds for farmers who have lost their income during periods of drought.
Concrete projects for adaptation are needed. In Uzbekistan, we are supporting a water-saving irrigation canal.
Its dripping technique saves 50 percent of the usual water.
This canal is quite literally a lifeline for a whole region.
It is solutions like this that we want to support. That is why I am happy to announce today that Germany will contribute another 60 million euro to the adaptation fund.
To reduce further damage, we also need more ambition in reducing emissions.
The brutal Russian war in Ukraine hasn’t put us off course. On the contrary, by 2030, Germany will increase the share of renewables in its energy mix to 80 percent.
The era of fossil fuels is coming to an end.
And we are playing an active part in this.
And we are also helping our partners to transition to green energy.
In Africa alone, half of the population has no regular access to electricity.
Changing that in a climate-friendly way will be an enormous challenge.
But again, it is concrete steps that turn grand visions into reality.
We have launched a Just Energy Transition Partnership with South Africa, setting up an investment plan to help it shift to green energies.
This also helps to create alternative jobs for people who depend on coal mining.
This partnership is a model we are expanding.
On Tuesday, together with our G20 partners, we secured groundbreaking climate targets and associated financing with Indonesia.
By 2030, at least 34 percent of all of Indonesia’s power generation will come from renewable energy.
With flagship projects like that, we are building the future with renewables – instead of rebuilding the past with oil, diesel and gas.
Yes, we need economic development, but we should not repeat mistakes industrialised countries committed in the past.
We already have all the instruments at our disposal.
I call on all of us to come up with ambitious finance plans, with ambitious project plans, but also with ambitious mitigation plans.
I want to be very clear. We will only keep the 1.5 degree goal alive if we reduce emissions, not in 2030, 2040 or 2050, but if we reduce emissions right now.
This is why, for us, the question of finance and an ambitious plan on mitigation are two sides of the same coin.
If we are not delivering now, within this decade, we are not talking about a 1.5 degree world anymore, and we probably won’t find the money anywhere in the whole world to cover all the loss and damage.
This is why an ambitious plan on mitigation is so crucial.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We only have a few hours, or maybe a few days left at this COP27.
And for these last hours, I urge all of you: when you sit down at the negotiation table, think of Habeebat from Nigeria who has ”nowhere to go“; think of the 2775 people in India who died this year due to extreme weather events – and think of the impacts the climate crisis is having on people in your country.
These people can’t wait until next year; they definitely can’t wait until 2030 or 2050.
These people need us to deliver solutions now.
So I urge you: all the answers are there – let us deliver!