National Statement from Svenja Schulze at the 24th UN Climate Change Conference

In her National Statement Svenja Schulze speaks about her expectations to the 24th UN Climate Change Conference. She also reports on the efforts of Germany for climate action.

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Mr President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Three years after the successful Paris conference we have come together here in Katowice to adopt a rulebook for implementing the Agreement. In Germany we would say: we are working on the small print. The importance of this small print cannot be overstated. After the euphoria of the Paris Agreement, we must now get down to business, and that means implementation.

Germany is a staunch supporter of multilateralism. International cooperation works best when we have a common set of rules. We must adopt these rules here. Essentially, this is about making our respective actions transparent.

Germany is supporting climate action in other countries. We are also supporting the cooperation mechanisms. And we have made it clear that we take this very seriously:

We will double our contribution to the Green Climate Fund by making available another 1.5 billion euros AS WE ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK.

TODAY, I AM GLAD TO ANNOUNCE THAT we will provide an additional 70 million euros for the Adaptation Fund. This will strengthen our alliance with developing countries and show that investments pay off. But it will be just as important here in Katowice that we as ministers use the Talanoa format to discuss how we can become even more ambitious.

This is not easy for any country, and Germany is no exception. We are experiencing how challenging the transformation towards a climate-friendly society is for a highly industrialised country. I am aware that the international community is watching very closely to see whether Germany’s energy transition is successful. And whether we will be able to manage the transformation without structural breaks.

What is Germany currently doing? Next year, we will adopt a comprehensive climate change act for the first time. Our climate targets will then be laid down in law and become binding.

We will also present a climate programme of measures covering sectors as diverse as agriculture, energy, buildings and transport. This will ensure that we reach our 2030 target.

The key question is how we handle electricity production from fossil sources – in Germany mainly hard coal and lignite. Almost half of our CO2 emissions are produced by the energy sector. That is the climate perspective. But the social dimension is also important. This is not an excuse for delaying action. I am convinced that climate action can only be successful if it takes the concerns of the people working and living in the coal regions seriously. Policy-makers must offer them alternatives, especially in structurally weak regions. To achieve this, we have initiated a dialogue with all stakeholders in the coal exit commission. Early next year, the commission will propose a roadmap for the phaseout and a concrete exit date. It is also developing alternative options for the people and regions affected, in order to avoid structural breaks. This is the only way to ensure that the necessary transformation is fair. It is Germany’s interpretation of a just transition.

I hope that we can all share such examples to show that the spirit of Paris is alive and that climate action is continuing to gain momentum worldwide. Let us make sure that Katowice is the next milestone.

Thank you.