Minister Müller on the conclusion of the global climate conference in Glasgow “From the point of view of the developing countries, the outcome is disappointing”

“A lot of initiatives have been announced at COP26, such as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies or measures regarding global forest conservation. Yet, looking at it from the point of view of the developing countries, which find themselves hard hit by climate change, the envisaged commitments and measures are not enough. There is too little support for aspects like damages and effects from climate change, and urgently needed adaptation measures, or the development of renewable energy systems.”

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“The final document does make reference for the first time ever to the need to phase out coal globally and abolish subsidies for fossil fuels; however, the wording was weakened at the last minute by major emerging economies, spearheaded by China and India. The financing provided for measures for adapting to the climate change that is already taking place is to be doubled by 2025.

At the end of the day, however, what remains is a sense of disillusionment: all in all, the agreements are not binding enough. Glasgow’s many announcements must also be translated into more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDCs). Significant improvements will be needed here over the next few years.

And there is a danger that the poorest countries are being lost from sight. Looked at from the point of view of the developing countries, the outcome is totally insufficient, too focused on technical details and too slow. We have to step up the pace. Many developing countries have no more time to lose; for them, climate change has long since become a grim reality. Glasgow has failed to provide any satisfactory answers in terms of protecting poorer countries from climate impacts. It has to be clear by the next summit what is to be done to give developing countries, which are the ones worst affected by climate change, better support for their adaptation efforts and for climate-neutral development.

To that end, there needs to be compensation first of all from rich to poor for the impacts of climate change in order to provide people in developing countries with better protection against climate-related events like droughts and flooding. That is why we need to significantly increase international climate finance. The industrialised countries’ pledge to provide 100 billion US dollars for international climate finance will not be met until 2023. That is too slow and too little. The developing countries need reliability in order to be able to deal with the consequences of climate change and they are looking to receive support amounting to trillions. It is absolutely clear that this cannot be funded by the public sector alone.

We need billions if not trillions in private investments in order to achieve a transformation of the energy systems in developing countries and emerging economies towards using renewable energy. The make-or-break test for the climate action of the future will be in those countries, with their rapidly growing populations. We have the knowledge and the technology to turn Africa into a green continent. Except that, in many industrialised countries, the political will is not there. That is not the way to achieve the 1.5 degree target. Companies need to be able to get emissions savings based on climate-friendly investments in developing countries counted – without any double counting. That way they will be taking CO2 out of the atmosphere in addition, while simultaneously promoting climate-neutral development worldwide through transfers of knowledge and technology. That, in my view, is forward-looking development and climate policy. The Glasgow agreements on article 6 allow for too much flexibility leading to uncertainty for companies.

Germany is giving a lead in global climate action, having more than doubled its climate finance from public funds to 5.1 billion dollars between 2014 and 2020. More than 85 per cent of this is from the budget of the Development Ministry. Germany has also announced that it will make an additional 150 million euros available to the poorest countries for urgently required adaptation to climate change, of which 100 million euros is from the Development Ministry’s budget.”