The second meeting of the German-Canadian High Level Steering Group on Bilateral Cooperation (HLSG) was held in Ottawa on June 6, 2023. The HLSG brings together senior officials from across the federal governments of Germany and Canada to further enhance Canadian-German cooperation across a range of key issue areas, including: peace and security; climate change, energy and natural resources; and innovation,digitalisation and the economy.
In the year since the first meeting of the HLSG, the Canada-Germany relationship has grown significantly closer. Visits to Canada by Chancellor Scholz and President Steinmeier, in addition to several Ministerial-level engagements, delivered collaboration, including with respect to supporting Ukraine, protecting democracy and advancing clean energy. Announcements of major investments in the energy transition in both Canada and Germany demonstrated this significant increase in engagement. In particular, there is a new focus on working together along the value chain for critical minerals.
At this critical time, with the world facing a series of challenges, ranging from geopolitical tension, climate change, geo-economic risks, to energy and food insecurity, the two countries remain united by shared values including democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.
In this context, HLSG participants discussed Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable war on Ukraine. The HLSG also discussed ways to advance shared objectives with partners in the Indo-Pacific region in the context of an increasingly global and impactful China, and ways to work towards a cessation of the civil conflict in Sudan.
Participants welcomed the important work of the Canada-Germany Energy Partnership and progress towards establishing a Transatlantic Hydrogen Corridor. The Canada-Germany Energy Partnership will also further explore collaboration on critical minerals for the energy transition, renewable energy integration and cooperation on clean technologies.
The HLSG welcomed the holding of the first meeting of its Working Group on Transport where joint priorities for collaboration on decarbonisation and digitalization were established. The Working Group agreed to explore the advancement of concrete initiatives under the priority areas of zero-emission vehicles, the deployment of hydrogen technology, green shipping, and rail digitalization.
The HLSG welcomed the recent confirmation of Germany’s partnership in the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge (GCPC), an international initiative to encourage the adoption of carbon pricing as an effective policy to fight climate change and spur innovation. In this context, Canada and Germany agreed to identify opportunities for cooperation under the GCPC and explore synergies with the Climate Club initiative.
Further, the HLSG agreed to deepen exchanges on sustainable global supply chains and due diligence, as well as to cooperate further on skilled migration and integration..
In light of the recent development of advanced AI systems, the HLSG reaffirmed the renewed importance of leveraging existing multilateral forums, including the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI), the OECD, and the G7 Hiroshima AI Process, to promote prudent AI regulatory and governance approaches to establish a coordinated response among like-minded countries to the potential risks posed by advanced AI systems. Additionally, the HLSG supported enhanced cooperation on translating emerging technology innovations into commercial products and services, for the mutual benefit and prosperity of both countries.
The HLSG welcomed the results of the recently held Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology in Ottawa, aiming to strengthen the ties in Research and Innovation regarding selected key technologies and fighting global climate change.
Participants agreed that the next meeting of the HLSG will take place in 2024 in Germany.