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Environment & Climate

Innovative Force behind Climate Cooperation

Germany plays an active role in international climate policy and advocates climate cooperation worldwide.
Impulsgeber für Klimakooperationen
© dpa

The climate crisis demands global cooperation, as no single state or region can overcome this global challenge alone. For decades Germany has been campaigning for climate action at an international level. In order to reinforce these efforts, the Federal Foreign Office has taken over responsibility for international policies and set itself a goal of making international climate cooperation a priority across all policy and departmental areas.

A driving force for world climate conferences

The COP world climate conferences held under the United Nations United Nations The United Nations (UN) has a key role to play in the international system. Germany has been a UN member since 1973. Since joining, Germany has taken on more and more responsibility and is now one of the largest donors and supporters of the United Nations. For example, Germany is the second largest… Read more › Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are a key lever in international climate policy. Germany was a driving force behind the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The 2015 Paris Agreement marked a major breakthrough, where all states made a binding commitment under international law to develop and implement Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) for climate action. The international community has also set itself the goal of keeping the rise in global temperatures to well below 2° C and below 1.5° C if possible. 

Germany intends to use its active climate foreign policy to help achieve the objectives of the Agreement. As part of this, the Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › uses the Petersberg Climate Dialogue to lay the groundwork for successful negotiations at global climate confer­ences. Each year, high-ranking state representatives from around the world gather in Germany to take part in the Dialogue. The Federal Government also provides active support for the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC issues reports that summarise and evaluate the latest climate research, thereby providing an important foundation for science-based climate policy. 

Supporting developing countries

Germany acknowledges its responsibility to help developing countries implement climate protection and adaptation measures. Indus­trial nations have pledged to mobilise 100 billion dollars each year from 2020 onwards towards this end. In 2020 Germany contributed around 5 billion euros from its budget, which will rise to 6 billion euros by 2025 at the latest. The total contributions from public funds (including support such as development and promotional loans) amounted to just under 8 billion euros in 2020.

Germany is a driving force behind climate partnerships with other countries. For example, Germany is working with states through the NDC partnership, which was set up in 2016, to help them achieve their national climate protection goals. 

Germany used its G7 Presidency in 2022 to campaign for international cooperation on climate action. At its instigation, the G7 nations agreed to set up a Climate Club which will effectively be open to all countries. In addition the G7 committed themselves to push forward Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) with India, Indonesia, Vietnam and Senegal. These partnerships with pivotal countries for climate policy in the Global South provide a powerful lever to help implement the Paris Agreement. Germany has already joined other countries to create a partnership of this kind with South Africa.