Joint press release by the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection to mark the start of COP28.
The 28th Climate Change Conference (COP28) begins tomorrow in Dubai under the presidency of the United Arab Emirates. It will open with the World Climate Action Summit, where more than 160 Heads of State and Government are expected.
The most important task at this year’s conference is the global stocktake. In accordance with the Paris Agreement, this first stocktake will assess how much progress the signatories have made with climate action. It also forms the basis for new nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to apply from 2030 onwards. The stocktake makes COP28 a particularly important Climate Change Conference on the path to implementing the Paris Agreement.
“Team Germany” will be represented at COP28 by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and several Federal Ministers.
Annalena Baerbock, Federal Foreign Minister:
The climate crisis does not come with bombs or missiles. It often comes slowly and silently – only to then strike all the more ruthlessly. Nobody in the world can escape the climate crisis. It affects us all, everywhere on the planet. Eight years ago, when the Paris climate goals were agreed, renewable energies were still seen as an investment risk. Today, they are a huge economic opportunity. The green momentum is palpable on all continents. What is needed now is to step up the pace. COP28 is the most important Climate Change Conference since the Paris Agreement was adopted. We are now taking stock for the first time of how far the international community has come. We are therefore working to see three decisions taken in Dubai: the tripling of renewables by 2030, the doubling of energy efficiency and the gradual phase-out of fossil fuels.
Robert Habeck, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action:
The global energy transition is increasingly taking shape. The proportion of electricity generated from renewables is rising all around the world, and currently stands at nearly one-third. Eighty percent of the newly added electricity sources in 2022 were solar and wind installations. Worldwide, solar energy is now becoming the cheapest source of energy, and it is creating entirely new development prospects in Africa. In 2023, we are expecting a new record level of expansion, driven particularly by investment in China, Europe, India and the US. We need to boost this momentum even further. In order to restrict global warming to 1.5°C and to make it possible to entirely stop using fossil fuel, the world’s electricity sector must be zero-carbon as early as the 2040s. That is why a global expansion target for renewable energy, in the broadest possible alliance, in which we triple the current roll-out rate up to 2030, is so important. Furthermore, it is now important to build up global hydrogen production and to press ahead with the decarbonisation of key economic sectors like steel and construction: in Germany, in Europe and worldwide. Here, the development of new global green markets can only take place in close coordination with the global south. Germany will make a substantial contribution to a zero-carbon energy supply and economy: at the COP, in the new Climate Club, and beyond.
Svenja Schulze, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development:
The climate conference is an opportunity for the international community to return more to cooperation mode. In Dubai, Germany wants to build bridges. One example is the new loss and damage fund. Prior to the conference, we drafted a good proposal together with partners from all over the world, on which the parties will vote in Dubai. Germany is willing to continue to assist developing countries in dealing with loss and damage from climate change. However, I expect from other countries which are not yet traditional donors that they will contribute, too, according to their capacity. My second expectation is the adoption of ambitious targets for the global energy transition. Emerging economies and developing countries now account for two thirds of all emissions. The provision of targeted support for the energy transition in these countries is well-invested money for climate change mitigation – and, thus, for all of us.
Steffi Lemke, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection:
This conference is all about trust. Mutual trust in the fact that all states are working on the necessary solutions, and also the people of Germany’s trust that this Federal Government is protecting their lives and those of future generations. Because the effects of the triple planetary crisis – climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution – are becoming more threatening and increasingly visible. The Climate Change Conference in Dubai, COP28, must therefore send a clear message that we are pursuing solutions that take account of all three of these areas equally. If we do not succeed in initiating swift, far-reaching changes, life on Earth will change drastically, including our life. We must protect nature for it to protect us. Germany is taking concrete action, and this can generate trust. With the Action Plan on Nature-based Solutions for Climate and Biodiversity, we have created the world’s first programme for the broad implementation of nature-based solutions. Our National Water Strategy, the Climate Change Adaptation Act and the Circular Economy Strategy set the course for more effective climate action and adequate climate adaptation.
During the negotiations, the German Government – together with its European partners – is pushing for ambitious goals. One goal is for the states gathered at the conference to agree to triple worldwide renewable capacities by 2030 and double the annual increase in energy efficiency. This would entail energy savings and the gradual phase-out of the generation and consumption of fossil fuels. Solidarity with developing countries is also a top issue on the German Government’s agenda. In concrete terms, the conference participants must decide on how the loss and damage fund agreed at COP27 will function and reach a consensus on its structures and financing mechanisms so that it can begin its work after this COP. In the field of climate finance, Germany is making an important contribution to reaching the industrialised nations’ 100 billion dollar goal, and is advocating for others to do their fair share. The German Government is also promoting more nature-based climate solutions. Intact ecosystems and stable global water cycles form the backbone we need for greater resilience, while making a crucial contribution towards reaching the goal of climate neutrality.