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29.05.2017

Keynote by Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks at the Conference "Global Solutions for G20: The Think20 Summit"

Dr. Barbara Hendricks hält eine Keynote auf dem T20 Gipfel in Berlin.
Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks speaks at the "Global Solutions for G20: The Think20 Summit" Conference.

– Check against delivery –

Professor Snower,
Professor Messner,
T20 Community,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Before I address G20 issues, I would like to comment on the outcome of the G7 Summit in Taormina this weekend: Six of the G7 countries have clearly opted for prosperity through climate action. These countries know that we can only remain economically competitive by adopting ambitious policies combatting climate change. Of course, it would have been good if the US were also part of the team at this juncture. President Trump announced that he will make a decision this week on the path his government will take regarding international climate policy. Hopefully, he will make the right decision for the people of his country. The rest of the world will certainly remain on course for the future.

And now: The German G20 Presidency.

The countries of the G20 hold two-thirds of the world population and four-fifths of the global GDP. But these countries are also responsible for 80 percent of the world's CO2 emissions. Because of this, it is essential that we, the G20 countries, show courage and use the great opportunities that the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda offer us. What is at stake is a global, structural transformation to significantly more sustainable, climate-friendlier economic activity. This will also be a wave of modernisation that will open the way to future-proof jobs.

We are working on this actively in our G20 Presidency. In order to bring about real change, the transformation has to be supported by a broad majority of the public. I would therefore like to thank the T20 for your committed work. Together with Business 20 and Civil 20, you are calling on us to resolutely implement the Paris Agreement. Your support gives us momentum. Thank you!

Outside of climate policy, there is hardly any other policy area driven so strongly by scientific findings. It is thanks to the IPCC’s reports, which many of you worked on, that the 1.5 degree goal and the 2 degree cap on global warming became the heart of the policy agenda. While I am on the topic, I would also like to acknowledge the report of the High Level Economic Commission on Carbon Pricing that was presented this morning. Some of you worked on this as well. The report underscores the importance of a functioning carbon pricing mechanism and provides recommendations on how to design one in a functional way.

The OECD also presented a clear, scientific analysis a few days ago – its report "Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth". The report comes to the conclusion that ambitious climate action, if combined with climate-compatible growth policies, could bring about a surge of growth of about 5 percent on average in the G20 in 2050. Scientific work like this can set concrete changes in motion, both in policy and in the economy!

The process of transformation to carbon-neutral, climate-resilient economies can only be achieved if all global finance flows are diverted in the direction of sustainable investments without exception. To achieve this, governments must create reliable frameworks for planning certainty in investment decisions. In Germany, we have this kind of reliable framework in place with the Energiewende, our energy transition, and the Climate Action Plan 2050.

I hope you have good discussions today and over the course of the summit, for example about the pressing issue of marine litter. Personally, I hope that the G20 summit will embrace as many of the T20 recommendations as possible so that they can be implemented. We can only achieve our goals if we work together.

Thank you very much.

29.05.2017 | Speech Dr. Barbara Hendricks | Berlin