Positive outcome of Climate Change Conference
Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel considers the outcome of the Climate Change Conference in Nairobi a success: "Even though I would wish for the international community to tackle climate change with more urgency: we made significant progress in Nairobi to find an answer to this global challenge. The decisions made in Nairobi offer the countries of the South specific help in dealing with the impacts of climate change. In Nairobi we also laid the foundation for the further development of the Kyoto Protocol", said Minster Gabriel.
According to the decisions of the Climate Change Conference the review of the Kyoto Protocol shall be concluded by 2008. Minister Gabriel explained: "This short timeframe is important so that by 2009 we can adopt explicit agreements on the post 2012 climate protection regime."
Minister Gabriel said that despite obvious weaknesses there was no alternative to the international negotiation process on climate protection. "It is also clear, however, that we will not be able to handle the challenges of climate change exclusively through negotiations on the UN level. We have to make climate protection a top priority. I am therefore very pleased that our Chancellor decided to declare climate protection and energy efficiency the focus of both the German EU and the German G8 Presidencies."
"We will only be able to adapt to climate change if we significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In Nairobi there was general agreement that emissions have to be halved by 2050. In order to reach this target we have to strengthen even further the already existing trend towards more renewable energies and greater energy efficiency on the energy markets. This strategy allows for a harmonisation of economic growth and climate protection. Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economics Service, clearly encouraged taking action in his report: doing something for climate protection is by far better than doing nothing at all."
Global fairness was a central issue of the Climate Change Conference in Nairobi. Minister Gabriel said: "It is the least developed countries who bear the least responsibility for climate change but are hit hardest by the consequences. In Nairobi we therefore agreed to launch an adaptation fund. It will support developing countries in adapting to the impacts of climate change. We agreed on a concrete work programme for the adaptation to climate change which Germany will support financially. It will help to better understand regional impacts of climate change and to develop specific solutions for adaptation measures."
Furthermore, measures were agreed on to advance CDM projects in Africa and in other least developed countries. Minister Gabriel commented: "Climate friendly technologies can combine climate protection with economic development. Germany has promised to support rural electrification, in Africa in particular, with 24 million euro over the next four years."