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IPCC report: Germany calls for more global action

August 9, 2021

German politicians reacted to the newly released IPCC report by urging drastic emissions reductions at home and more engagement on climate action abroad.

Destroyed infrastructure after floods in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said the IPCC report confirmed that extreme weather events will continue to occur in GermanyImage: Arafatul Islam/DW

Germany's Development Minister Gerd Mueller said a major global effort was required to combat climate change, urging poorer countries to also invest more in climate protection policies.

Mueller told the German Funke media group that only 8 out of 191 countries in the world were adhering to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, in which nations set a goal of capping global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, by cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The German development minister's remarks come as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a new assessment on the impact of global warming.

In the report, scientists have warned that without "immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions" to greenhouse gas emissions the Paris goals will not be reached.

"We need a global green deal, with huge private investments to expand renewable energies as well as technology transfers and an investment offensive by industrialized countries in emerging and developing countries," Mueller said.

Mueller urged the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the development banks and above all the EU to step up. 

"Hundreds of new coal-fired power plants are being built or planned around the world," the German minister said. "If all of these 'climate killers' go online, we will never achieve the Paris goals." 

Greens Baerbock: Germany needs a 'climate foreign policy'

German Green party chancellor candidate in the 2021 elections, Annalena Baerbock, also called for increased international engagement against global warming ahead of the COP 26 climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland in November. 

"The climate conference in Glasgow must become a climate turning point," Baerbock told newspaper Die Welt on Monday "Only then will we have the chance to move from the current over-three-degree path to the 1.5-degree path of Paris," she warned.

The Green party chairwoman stressed that Germany needed to employ a rapid expansion of renewable energies, while also leading a "passionate climate foreign policy." 

"That's why we will work to ensure that the major emitters in particular submit higher national climate contributions at the World Climate Conference in November," Baerbock said.

Calls for climate protection in Germany's basic law

German Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze reacted to the IPCC report, saying "it makes it unequivocally clear that we must prepare for more and more extreme weather events in Germany."

"They are not going away because we can't reverse the climate change that has already taken place. We can, however, slow it down," she added.

Schulze also urged for greater action at home, saying Germany should adopt an amendment in its constitution, so that the federal government can be more involved in protecting against the consequences of climate change. 

"I plead for funding together with the federal government, because we need to prepare permanently for more frequent extreme weather events," she added.

jcg/wmr (dpa, AFP, Reuters)