Germany and France plan to work together at European level to advance the swift implementation of the Paris Agreement. This was agreed at a meeting in Berlin on 4 September by State Secretary at the German Federal Environment Ministry, Jochen Flasbarth, and State Secretary at the French Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, Brune Poirson. The meeting kicked off closer cooperation between the two countries in the fields of environmental protection and climate action. Jochen Flasbarth commented: "France and Germany are the engines of European integration, especially in the areas of environment and climate."
In order to reinforce the credibility of the EU's climate commitments, Germany and France are particularly striving for an agreement between the European Parliament and the Council on the emissions trading reform before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23) takes place in Bonn this November. The meeting of the EU Environment Council on 13 October will be the next important step towards this goal, as member states hope to agree on greenhouse gas reductions in sectors not covered by emissions trading system. Germany and France will unite in advocating a balanced and ambitious decision.
In order to promote participation of local government in the implementation of the climate targets, the state secretaries have agreed on an initiative to foster closer cooperation on climate action between French and German cities and municipalities.
In the COP 23 climate negotiations in November, France and Germany are hoping for significant progress to be made regarding implementation of the Paris Agreement. They agree in particular that the Facilitative Dialogue at COP 24 should raise the level of ambition. The state secretaries decided to coordinate efforts more closely in order to support the development of initiatives for the Action Agenda. Germany and France will organise a joint event during COP 23.
The two countries also want to work together on the preparations for the Paris climate summit on 12 December 2017. The summit is expected to review the progress made so far towards implementation of the climate agreement and to increase climate finance. This means channelling capital flows towards low-carbon economies – for instance by implementing provisions on the disclosure of climate risks.
The state secretaries also plan to cooperate in the field of chemicals safety, agreeing to submit a joint request to the Commission to include nanomaterials in chemicals legislation. They welcome the Commission's intention to draw up a new European strategy on reducing the dangers from environmental hormones (endocrine disrupters). France and Germany support discussions on this strategy being launched as soon as possible.
The meeting between the German and French environment ministries is to be held regularly from now on. The next meeting will take place in Paris next year.