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No. 123/14 | Berlin, 15.07.2014

Hendricks: spirit of change in climate policy

Conclusion of the fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue

In front of a light blue photo wall two women and two men are standing together for the picture.

At the conclusion of the fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue, co-chaired by Germany and Peru, Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks summed up the positive results: "There is a spirit of change in international climate policy. The message of these last few days is that together we can tame climate change. Many countries are working on new, ambitious climate goals for the global agreement we want to adopt in 2015."

At the Climate Change Conference in Warsaw in 2013, countries agreed to present by March 2015 their national climate action contributions to the new agreement that is to enter into force in 2020. Hendricks said she was confident that the major emitters such as the EU, the United States and China would observe this deadline and that many smaller countries would follow suit. "Before the 2015 Climate Change Conference in Paris, we must make sure that the effort is shared equitably and that the actions proposed are sufficient to limit the temperature increase to below two degrees", she said, adding that Germany was well-prepared for this debate.

Hendricks went on to say "by 2030 we aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent compared to 1990 levels and are thus setting a good example." Within the EU, the German Government supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.

Hendricks also promised support for developing countries that need technical assistance in drafting their own ambitious climate action plans. "In Germany we have a lot of experience with planning climate action measures and calculating their effects and are happy to share our knowledge," Hendricks explained. Through the International Climate Initiative, the Federal Environment Ministry has given support to 19 countries from all regions of the world in drafting new climate targets as their contribution to the 2015 climate agreement. These countries include Peru, Armenia, Viet Nam, the Gambia and Lebanon. Funding is available to support further countries.

Co-Chairing the meeting, Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar Vidal highlighted the sense of urgency that should lead this process, and that "to be successful, the new climate agreement needs to reflect a balance between mitigation and adaptation, between national action and multilateral rules and between the response to climate action and sustainable de-velopment, supported by financial and technological assistance".

Federal Environment Minister Hendricks and her Peruvian counterpart Manuel Pulgar Vidal, who will chair the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is to be held in Lima, invited some 35 ministers from all regions of the world to the fifth Petersberg Climate Dialogue. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Peruvian President Ollanta Humala also gave keynote speeches. The goal of the dialogue was to bring new policy ideas to the UN climate negotiations.

Federal Environment Minister Hendricks made the following statement: "At the Petersberg Climate Dialogue it became clear that we are on the right track and that ideas about the 2015 agreement are converging. However, there are still different opinions on the agreement's internationally binding character, the degree of regulation and its level of ambition. The conference in Lima must bring further progress on these issues. We have months of intense negotiations ahead of us, but I am confident that in the end all countries will act responsibly."

Minister Pulgar Vidal stressed that "the Lima Conference should agree on a strong, clear and coherent draft text of the 2015 agreement", as well as on "a practical and collaborative decision for the presentation of nationally determined contributions by all parties during next year".

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