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German Foreign Minister Baerbock on the outcome of COP27

20.11.2022 - Press release

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on the outcome of COP27:

It was always obvious that this COP would not be easy. Its outcome gives rise to both hope and frustration. There is hope in seeing what is possible when states join forces across old north-south boundaries. We have achieved a breakthrough on climate justice - with a broad coalition of states, after years of deadlock. And we were able to prevent a backslide behind the consensus of Glasgow and Paris and to defend 1.5. 

It is more than frustrating to see overdue steps on mitigation and the phase-out of fossile energies being stonewalled by a number of large emitters and oil producers. The world is losing valuable time to move towards 1.5 Degrees. 

The COP ends this Sunday, our work will resume on Monday. Because we have committed ourselves as industrialized countries to increase our efforts. 

As agreed in Glasgow, we succeeded in establishing a work program do reduce emissions across sectors, with a strong, annual political review mechanism.

Yes, we would have liked to see more binding commitments. The industrialized countries and the countries hit hardest by the climate crisis were ready for this, but an alliance of and oil-rich countries and major emitters has prevented this. 

The world also committed itself once again to the coal phase-down and - for the first time - to the crucial importance of renewable energies. This was by no means a given over the last few days. Together with the climate and energy partnerships we entered during this COP in parallel to the UN negotiations - with South Africa, Indonesia, Kenya and Egypt, this gives an impulse to the global energy Transformation. 

On the issue of loss and damage, a breakthrough was achieved at this COP. In the last months, we worked tirelessly to put the issue of loss and damage for the first time on the agenda, and here we managed to get other industrialized countries on board. The international community agreed to establish joint financing mechanisms to help the people most affected by climate disasters. We are opening a new chapter in climate action. This is urgently needed in view of the loss and damage caused by the climate crisis in many countries already today. 

We were able to ensure that this instrument targets the most vulnerable countries, and we at least started a process to explore new financing methods and take the major emitters to task - although many questions remain unresolved and controversial. 

That this conference did not end in utter failure despite the stonewalling and organisational shortcomings is mostly due to a progressive alliance of states across continents: The EU and other industrialized countries, small island states, a large number of Latin American states, the least developed countries. Nobody can hide behind old North-South-divides any longer to shirk their responsibility for climate action. It thus became very obvious who was stalling here. 

However, the outcome of this COP also shows that this needs to be a party-driven process - and that unhindered access for a free, strong civil society is crucial to achieving ambitious results.

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