Cancun: German Environment Minister Calls Climate Protection an Opportunity for Economic Growth

In a speech given at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP16) in Cancun, Mexico, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen tried to rally more support for climate protection by pointing out the potential benefits for economic growth.

Germany’s economy had come out of the financial crisis even stronger than before, which was partly due to Germany’s strength in exporting modern energy and environmental technologies, Mr Röttgen said. According to Mr Röttgen, Germany’s world market share already amounts to 30% and is still increasing. Long-term, stable framework conditions such as the recently adopted German Energy Concept, which lays the foundations for the long-term transformation of the German economy up to 2050, were important, he pointed out.

Mr Röttgen called on the attending countries to take concerted action in Cancun by creating robust international rules. “We need a stepwise approach. The mitigation pledges on the table now must be made more transparent and need to be secured in a binding form. In a second step opportunities need to be explored to step up these mitigation commitments and actions in order to keep the 2°C target achievable in the medium term”, Mr Röttgen said.

In another press release, Mr Röttgen thanked the Danish Climate and Energy Minister Lykke Friis in Cancun for Denmark’s contribution of around EUR 5 million  to the risk tranche of the Global Climate Partnership Fund.

The Global Climate Partnership Fund was established in 2009 by Germany. It is a private structured fund administered by Deutsche Bank. “The Fund will be fed by public donors, development banks such as the KfW and the World Bank, and especially private banks. In contrast to many existing credit programmes, the public money will not be consumed by the Fund, but used in a revolving fashion”, the press release explains. The public funds, such as those from the German Environment Ministry and the Danish government, serve as a risk buffer for private capital.

Sources: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (Speech by Mr Röttgen), Federal Minstry for the Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (Danish Contribution to Global Climate Partnership Fund)

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