A billion for the forest, a protective shield for climate catastrophes and a climate club for the restructuring of industry. Climate protectors are not really satisfied with Chancellor Scholz’s ideas.
At the world climate conference, Chancellor Olaf Scholz promoted his idea of a global climate club of countries with ambitious goals in combating global warming. He invited all states worldwide to the Egyptian Sharm el Sheikh.
Many branches of industry urgently need to be converted to be climate-friendly, such as cement and steel production. The idea is to agree on rules and standards together so that competition is not distorted in view of the high level of investment. “Time is running out. The next industrial revolution must start now,” demanded the Chancellor.
At the G7 summit at Schloss Elmau in the summer, the other major democratic economic powers had already backed the idea of the climate club. It is to be formally founded this year and also be open to countries such as China or Saudi Arabia that do not belong to the community of western democracies. In addition to restructuring the industry, the club is intended to counteract a relocation of production to countries with more lax climate regulations. With energy partnerships, the economically strong G7 countries want to help poorer states in the transition to a more climate-friendly economy.
Scholz had already traveled to the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el Sheikh on the Red Sea for two days on Monday to take part in the two-week world climate conference, for which 45,000 participants had registered. In addition to the climate club, he brought a number of other ideas and initiatives with him.
Protective shield against climate catastrophe
A protective umbrella to cushion climate risks is to be officially established in the second week of the climate conference. The office for this is to be set up in Frankfurt am Main, Germany is providing 170 million euros as start-up financing. It is unclear which other countries are participating with how much money. The funds are to be made available to countries particularly affected by disasters such as hurricanes, droughts or floods. A few years ago, they organized themselves into the V20, which now has 58 members in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America.
The environmental organization Germanwatch praised the initiative. With the 170 million euros, Germany is establishing itself as a pioneer among the industrialized countries. This is a good start. “In view of the actual damage and losses caused by the climate crisis, however, the sum is just a drop in the bucket.” The WWF criticized that the 170 million came from the pot of climate funds that had already been promised, currently 5.3 billion euros annually, which are to be increased to six billion euros by 2025.
A billion for the forest
Funds for the protection of forests worldwide come from the same pot and are to be increased from one to two billion euros by 2025. They should primarily benefit the rainforests in the Central African Congo Basin and in the South American Amazon region. According to the Development Ministry, an estimated 420 million hectares of forest have been lost since 1990, roughly the size of the European Union. 88 percent of forest destruction goes back to agriculture.
Rejection of “Renaissance of fossil energies”
Scholz provoked anger among climate protectors in Sharm el-Sheikh with his warning of a “renaissance in fossil fuels” and the associated promise that this renaissance would not happen in Germany. This is a “deception of the international public” if Scholz also wants to provide money for new gas fields in Africa that are fueling the climate crisis, said the executive director of Greenpeace Germany, Martin Kaiser. If the chancellor is serious about his commitment, not a single euro of German tax money should be allowed to flow into new gas fields. “Chancellor Scholz will have to be measured by that personally.”
In May, the chancellor promised Senegal support in developing a gas field off the coast. The small country in West Africa is intended to fill at least part of the gap created by the lack of gas from Russia.
Experts doubt compliance with German climate targets
The Chancellor asserts that he wants to organize the short-term efforts to increase gas in such a way that they are compatible with Germany’s climate goals. So far, however, science has not given Germany good marks: Just two days before the start of the consultations in Egypt, the independent expert council dismissed German climate protection efforts as insufficient – even if the experts, who tried to be sober, would never put it that way. Their conclusion: It is unlikely that Germany will still be able to achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.