At the end of the Petersburg Climate Dialogue: Why the Minimum Consensus Is Not Enough Now

At the end of the Petersburg Climate Dialogue: Why the Minimum Consensus Is Not Enough Now

In an informal conversation with Merkel confidant a few years ago, I asked why the chancellor does not want to be the real climate chancellor again in his old days. You have nothing else to lose. Answer: The Chancellor already has for climate protection – but a consensus queen. If friction occurs, look for the lowest common denominator, patiently mediate between all the brailers – a brilliant diplomat.

But this minimum consensus policy has only created a minimum consensus on climate protection in the last 15 years. In times of gallop global warming, when news from science spreads to each other in drama every week, it is no longer enough. And now it is noticeable when there are genuinely hesitating, hesitating, and breaks behind the curtains of the federal government’s climate show.

Unfortunately, this has been seen again and again this week: Of course, on Thursday, the Federal Chancellor once again appealed to the international community to act “quickly and in solidarity” against climate change. The federal government was also doing very well as it raised its 2030 climate targets to 65 percent on Wednesday – making Germany, along with Great Britain, a leader in the European Union.

But on closer inspection, the balance sheet is less spectacular: under pressure from Brussels, the federal government should have set new targets anyway. In two months the European Union Commission – which already lifted its targets in December – will redistribute the burden in the Union. After this, Germany will have to struggle more. And 65 percent has been ejected: not more inches than required.

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The Federal Constitutional Court previously ordered the government to reform the Climate Protection Act. Ergo: Judges cannot be influenced by minimum consensus policy and maximum climate rhetoric. The extreme of shamelessness, however, is when you now praise yourself for sitting under house arrest as a student with a bad climate.

Also, what Angela Merkel did not say in the Peterburg Climate Dialogue: On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the Chancellory to convince Merkel to make high climate finance commitments for poor countries. The host of the next World Climate Conference again wanted to win the German government to hold international talks. Over the years, states have been struggling to provide adequate assistance to poor countries that are unable to cope financially with the climate crisis or the consequences of its prevention.

In his speech in the Petersburg Climate Dialogue, Merkel merely stated: Germany had “overcome” its goal. In defense of the German side, this means that Great Britain has not given Germany as much so far. Furthermore, shortly before the election, the Chancellor can hardly decide on the budget of the next legislature. But appealing to other countries to participate in the end will at least be a stumbling block. But the message was: “We’re already doing enough, now it’s great.”

At the same time, Merkel’s resistance to the issuance of vaccination patents for poor countries was followed by a rejection of higher aid payments. Here the Chancellor stood behind the protesting corporate interests. Minimum Consensus: They want to help poor countries with vaccine donations. Doctors and even US President Joe Biden are immediately calling for a patent release to quickly contain the epidemic.

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No new climate assistance, no patent releases and no applicable climate targets: all of this is a great slap in the face for poor countries and certainly no help for the climate negotiations in November. But then Ms. Merkel may have already retired.

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