World Climate Conference: How well is “Team Germany” negotiating?

Status: 11/18/2022 11:36 am

The UN World Climate Conference is entering the home stretch. A joint final declaration is now being negotiated. The federal government had planned a lot for the summit. Too much of?

By Nina Amin, ARD capital studio, currently Sharm El-Sheikh

The last few days are the hardest, everyone at the UN climate conference agrees. “Achieving ambitious results at a climate conference has never been as difficult as it is these days,” said Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock at a press conference in the German Pavilion.

A sticking point: Who pays for climate-related damage in poor countries? For Baerbock it is clear: Europe and the USA with their high greenhouse gas emissions are making a massive contribution to global warming and have to pay. “But all of today’s major emitters are responsible for the climate damage of the future. All states can now show that they are ready for more ambition and more solidarity.” By this Baerbock should mean Saudi Arabia and China. According to observers, the two countries are on the brakes in the negotiations.

While the Green politician negotiates non-stop in the final hours of the climate conference, the rest of “Team Germany” has left. Several ministries were represented at the UN climate conference. The Chancellor was also in Sharm El-Sheikh at the start.

Protective shield for climate risks

Development Minister Svenja Schulze was satisfied after her participation. In Egypt, she launched a global protective shield for climate risks. Germany developed the instrument together with the so-called V20 countries. “It is a success that we will present it here and develop it together,” said the SPD politician. In concrete terms, the protective shield should make money available quickly and unbureaucratically if floods or droughts destroy crops or houses.

Germany is paying in 170 million euros, as seed capital, so to speak. Environmental organizations call that a drop in the ocean. In addition, paying into a pot is voluntary. So there is no alternative to a large, binding fund for climate damage.

“Conservation is climate protection”

Topic at the UN climate conference for the first time: Biodiversity. Environment Minister Steffi Lemke describes this as a great success: “We need climate protection in order to save nature and we need intact ecosystems to operate climate protection because carbon is stored there. And also to adapt to climate change and take precautions against droughts and floods to protect better,” said the Green politician.

The German commitment to nature conservation and financial aid after climate catastrophes are well received at the climate conference. But the federal government is also under criticism.

Gas production with Senegal under criticism

Germany wants to be considered a pioneer for renewable energies, but Germany is criticized worldwide for gas purchases. In particular, the planned cooperation on gas production in Senegal, which Chancellor Scholz announced in the spring, is causing trouble.

Green leader Ricarda Lang is against the project. “Negotiations are still taking place with Senegal and I think the focus should be on renewable energies. I see a great willingness for this here at the climate conference.” In fact, the federal government recently concluded a partnership with other countries such as Kenya for the complete switch to renewable energies.

The next few days will show whether “Team Germany” negotiated well and in the interest of the climate. The federal government is pursuing a goal with all of this, said Baerbock at the conference. “That in the end solar and wind power are the winners and fossil fuels are the losers.”

Climate conference before extension

The UN meeting COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh with around 34,000 participants is scheduled to end late Friday afternoon. According to statistics from the climate portal “Carbon Brief”, not a single climate conference has ended on time in the past 20 years. The UN has now said that food and transport at the conference will be secured until Sunday evening.

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