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Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Foreign Office. I am pleased that we are hosting the board meeting of the Green Climate Fund here today.
Germany considers the battle against climate change and its impacts to be one of the most important issues that we face globally. We all know that climate change will have and is already today having a considerable geopolitical impact, causing droughts, food and water scarcity, rises in sea level and increased migration. It is a battle that cannot be won by individual countries alone, but needs international cooperation.
Climate change is therefore a crucial part of preventive foreign policy. We are striving – together with our partners – to ensure that international bodies adequately address the security and foreign policy implications of climate change.
For example, Germany initiated a debate in the Security Council on climate change during its presidency in July 2011. During this debate the Security Council recognized that climate change may aggravate existing threats to international peace and stability.
Only one month ago, on 15 February 2013, Pakistan and the United Kingdom initiated another debate in the UN Security Council to continue the climate security discussion. One week from now, the Korean Foreign Ministry will host an international conference on this matter. This shows that more and more states from various regions recognize the threat climate change may pose to their own stability and wellbeing.
It is an urgent global issue that needs to be addressed on both regional and national solutions.
The German Government has made a bold decision to end our country’s carbon age. With the German “Energiewende”, we want to show that it is possible to reduce emissions, transform a prospering economy into a green, low-carbon, resource-efficient economy AND be economically successful. Protection of the environment and resource efficiency are not limitations on or obstacles to our economies. On the contrary, we see the transition to a low-carbon economy as an opportunity for the economy and for our industries.
On the international level, we know that words, statements and declarations alone are not enough. Action and concrete steps are needed. And for implementing mitigation and adaptation measures, substantial financial resources have to be made available.
It is against this background that Germany has supported the Green Climate Fund from the very beginning. Germany is the second-largest donor in bilateral development cooperation, the second-largest donor in climate finance and the third-largest contributor to the United Nations.
At the UN Climate Conference in Doha, the international community made important steps towards building a more efficient climate regime. Once more, it was made clear that the international community is willing to work together to address climate change and its consequences.
Based on the Durban decisions to make the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and other bodies dealing with adaptation and technology transfer operational, the work continued in Doha.
These were important steps on the crucial questions of climate finance and assistance to developing countries. Continuous effort is needed to get the Green Climate Fund fully running as soon as possible.
We trust that the board meeting will make a valuable contribution to this steady progress, to establishing the final GCF structures. I therefore wish you a constructive exchange of ideas and productive discussions over the next three days.
Thank you for your attention.