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Germany's Baerbock urges global action on renewable energy

May 2, 2023

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock called for countries around the world to ramp up their renewable energy targets and to have a global treaty on renewable energy.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, with mics in the foreground
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock opened the Berlin dialogue to discuss how countries can accelerate energy and climate transitionImage: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Annelena Baerbock on Tuesday called for a global target for the expansion of renewable power as demand for electricity grows.

"We’re facing the greatest security challenge of our century, namely the climate crisis," Baerbock said at the 14th Petersberg Climate Dialogue. 

"All of us gathered here today can do our part to mitigate this crisis," she said at the conference of energy and environment ministers, as well as representatives from over 40 countries gathered in Berlin. 

US climate envoy John Kerry was present at the Berlin conference, which is meant to lay the groundwork for discussions leading up to the UN-brokered climate conference in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The UN Climate Change Conference, known as COP28, will be held in Dubai from November 30 through to December 12. 

Baerbock opens Petersberg Climate Dialogue

Baerbock urges acceleration of renewable energy

Baerbock said G7 countries had already set targets to accelerate solar and wind power but called for a similar global treaty.

G7 leaders set targets in April to ramp up renewable energy capacity to phase out fossil fuels as quickly as possible. They stopped short of committing to a deadline of phasing out coal power by 2030.

The G7 includes the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union.

The discussions at the Berlin conference are also set to address a long-held demand by countries that have particularly been affected by the climate crisis —  financial support for overcoming loss and damage by climate change.

The goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels is possible but would require major shifts across every sector of the economy, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report in March.

The European Union has said it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. In the medium term, it wants to cut net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030.  

Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has changed the region's energy landscape. 

UN head calls for climate 'quantum leap'

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the world to make "a quantum leap in climate action," in a video message to the climate meeting in Berlin. "We know that the 1.5 degree pathway is possible," he said.

Meeting the goal would require developed countries and international financial institutions to deliver "on long-overdue finance" and "breaking our fossil fuel addiction."

The Ukraine war and EU emission targets

rm/sms (Reuters, AP, DPA)

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