– Check against delivery –
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the global NDC Conference 2017 here in Berlin, especially those of you who weren’t able to join us last night.
I hope you all had pleasant journeys.
I would like to start by thanking the three organisations that made this conference possible: GIZ, UNDP and the LEDS Global Partnership.
We all know the matter at hand: rapid and efficient implementation of our NDCs.
We know that we have all the theoretical concepts, sufficient innovation and financing to steer the transformation of our societies to a climate-neutral and climate-resilient future.
In Paris we made a binding commitment to pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and to holding the increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius in any case.
Additionally, the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda give us an intelligent strategy for the whole world - a strategy for the sustainable transformation of all countries.
With the Addis Ababa Declaration in July 2015, we even have clear ideas of the financial flows we will need to achieve this.
We also know that the countries that implement these measures for the long term will enjoy economic and social benefits. They will have a clear competitive edge over countries that hesitate.
So why is it so difficult for us to really tackle the issue of transforming society, of changing our lifestyles, energy policies and economies in order to respect planetary boundaries?
This is where concrete implementation of the Paris Agreement comes into play.
And that is why we are here in Berlin today - to talk about this implementation.
We need to follow two strategic approaches: firstly, work on our own NDCs. And secondly, further developing the Paris Agreement, which will be the issue under discussion in Bonn next week, an event most of you will be attending.
In concrete terms this also means we will support national implementation of NDCs.
The Paris rule book for transparency is being drawn up to this end, as are good practices on how to implement NDCs.
And we have set ourselves the time frame for this:
The rule book will be completed in 2018, and in 2020 we will have new climate targets for 2030 and our long-term strategies.
Our goal for 2023 is to review our measures in the context of the 2°C and 1.5°C targets and, where necessary, to make them more stringent.
We donor countries have also committed to helping partner countries with implementation. We have pledged that no country will get left behind.
Germany will do every possible to meet this pledge, including in the framework of our current G20 presidency.
The G20 Energy and Climate Working Group is meeting in Hamburg as I speak to prepare for the G20 summit in July.
We advocate the G20 pursuing ambitious language and a binding path.
Looking at the global picture, it is very interesting to see how quickly the world is changing.
Not long ago we thought that western countries, the most advanced developed nations, were pursuing a particularly responsible approach to climate action. Today we are learning that the East and South are at times overtaking the West and North as climate pioneers.
Thanks to a huge boom in wind and solar power, China and India are well on the way to reaching their climate targets and leaving our allies on the other side of the Atlantic behind on ambitious climate action.
Of course, China and India still have a long way to go and a lot of work ahead of them. But in Germany, too, per capita greenhouse gas emissions are still too high.
However, in Germany we have a plan for how we can become greenhouse gas-neutral and how we intend to do so: our Climate Action Plan 2050.
I presented this plan at COP22 in Marrakesh in November. Many of you were there, so there is no need for me to go into all the details. What I will say is that the negotiations on our Climate Action Plan, which is part of the NDC of the European Union, were by no means easy. While some stakeholders opposed ambitious targets, others called for even more details and even more ambitious targets.
This is perhaps what I would also have preferred. But for such a long-term target as 2050, the process is a goal in itself. And it is absolutely essential that we all start off with this process.
Our Climate Action Plan is a national strategy for decarbonisation. It requires a change of thinking in many areas and marks a move away from old habits.
Regions that were and are very dependent on fossil energies will experience upheavals. This applies, for example, to the start of the coal phase-out, where we are aiming to avoid structural breaks.
For Germany perhaps sooner than for China and India, but also for other countries that are still reliant on coal, the move away from coal will have to happen in the foreseeable future.
Germany has set itself ambitious sectoral targets that are listed in detail in our Climate Action Plan - for the energy sector, transport, buildings and agriculture.
By the end of 2018, we will draw up a catalogue of measures as a basis for achieving these sectoral targets in line with the projection up to 2030 and 2050.
And, at the end of 2019 or early 2020, Germany will evaluate and update its Climate Action Plan. Under the Paris Agreement we have all committed to regular reviews of our climate policies.
We will do justice to the Paris Agreement with our Climate Action Plan 2050. We will also produce regular reports, make our findings transparent and hold public discussions.
We will regularly reassess the potential for mitigation and calculate the concrete impacts.
Industry and civil society will be closely involved in this process. The system of transparency is a strong pillar of climate action.
A further element of our work that I would like to highlight is our International Climate Initiative.
The purpose of this initiative is to support you, our partners, with targeted grants worldwide. This will enable you to implement your measures even more efficiently without having to repay the grants.
Our International Climate Initiative has now become a global brand, and we form a strong community. Over the years ahead we will increase the initiative’s funding even further.
In this process we will work closely with our colleagues at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, with whom we co-founded the NDC-Partnership facilitating the implementation of all our NDCs
In this context Deputy Director General Frank Fass-Metz will speak in a moment about how we will bring grants from technical cooperation into large-scale implementation projects.
Environment and finance ministries are also working side by side in international cooperation. Together we will have to convince some of our other ministries that climate action has to be taken into account for every infrastructure measure by the state or private investors.
We have powerful allies for this endeavour. For example, the Financial Stability Board is steering investors towards climate-compatible investments. And the rating agency Moody’s has started taking implementation of the Paris Agreement in individual countries and in companies into consideration in its risk assessments.
Exxon Mobil lost its Standard and Poor’s Triple A rating after adoption of the Paris Agreement. Exxon was not able to make clear how it planned to bring about its own transformation.
Over 60 countries are represented here today, with more than 130 government participants, 70 participants from international organisations and around 50 from universities and think tanks. These are impressive numbers.
We want you to tell us what we can do better. We want to be able to make the support we have already pledged even more effective.
I hope that after these three days you will be able to head to the meeting in Bonn next week equipped with many constructive findings, and that you will have more clear ideas of how you can continue and strengthen work on NDCs in your countries.
I thank you all, and now I will hand back to Maria Paz Cigarán.
Ms Cigarán, don’t go easy on anyone and keep everybody on their toes!
I hope that we can all learn from one another and become even better. We are among friends here, and it is important that we support each other.
I wish you all every success.