DrThe United States wants to pay $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Vice President Kamala Harris made the announcement on Saturday in her speech at the United Nations climate conference in Dubai. This is the first American contribution to the fund since 2014.
The Green Climate Fund is one of the most important international climate financing instruments. The Fund aims to support climate protection and adaptation to climate impacts in developing countries. Industrialized countries have already pledged $100 billion annually to achieve these goals starting in 2020, some of which will flow into the Green Climate Fund. According to preliminary estimates, this amount was first reached in 2022 and is expected to be achieved in 2023.
During her appearance, Harris also criticized leaders who are spreading “misinformation” about the climate crisis. Harris said there are leaders who deny climate science, delay climate action and spread misinformation. “In the face of their resistance and in the context of this moment, we must do more.”
“We have to accelerate,” Schultz says of the 1.5 degree target.
In his speech in Dubai, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) earlier called for additional efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. He specifically called for tripling the expansion of renewable energy use worldwide by 2030 and doubling energy efficiency by the end of the decade.
“It is still possible that we will be able to reduce emissions so far in this decade that we meet the 1.5 degree target,” Schulz told delegates on Saturday at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28). “But science tells us very clearly: we have to go fast. Let’s agree on two binding goals here in Dubai: on the one hand, tripling the expansion of renewable energies, and on the other hand, further expanding the use of renewable energies.” Double energy efficiency – both by 2030,” the advisor demanded.
If gas is needed, it must be produced and transported “as climate-friendly as possible.” The Chancellor also called for a global exit from coal, oil and gas. “We must now all show firm determination to phase out fossil fuels – primarily coal. We can sail for this at this climate conference,” the SPD politician said.
Greater focus also on methane emissions
Schulz has also pushed for reducing methane emissions, which is also a topic of discussion in Dubai. The United States has also committed to reducing these emissions. Ali Al-Zaidi, US President Biden’s climate advisor, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new standards that will require oil and gas producers to plug methane leaks. In addition, wells must be better monitored so that unwanted gas leaks can be prevented. The second most important greenhouse gas, methane, escapes from, among other things, the extraction of coal, oil and natural gas. Although it stays in the atmosphere for a shorter time, it is more harmful than carbon dioxide.
At the same time, Schulz underscored Germany and the EU’s climate goals to live and work climate neutrally by 2045. Germany has already managed to increase the share of renewables in electricity generation to nearly 60%, and “Germany continues to gain momentum.”
Expansion around the world must also be accelerated and “the energy transition must be turned into a global success story.” “This energy transition also includes saying goodbye to fossil fuels,” Scholz continued. We must now show firm determination to phase out fossil fuels, primarily coal. The Climate Conference must also set an example in this regard.
Schulz also called for more international cooperation in the field of climate protection. Among the ways to achieve this, he cited the 36-nation Climate Club, which was founded on Friday on a largely German initiative and which sees itself as a pioneer in climate protection. The group includes 35 countries and the European Union as a community of states. “It was a successful start,” Schultz said. “It’s about finding the basis to make our shared aspirations comparable.”
Schulz stressed that many other countries are interested in participating. However, countries like China and India, which are among the largest producers of climate-damaging gases, are still missing.
The Chancellor also committed to international solidarity in protecting the climate and dealing with climate impacts. “Germany has already exceeded its target of providing at least six billion euros annually in international climate finance in 2022,” he said in his speech.
Schulz also called for financial participation from “those countries whose prosperity has grown enormously in the past three decades and which now account for a significant share of global emissions.” This applies, for example, to China, but also to the rich Gulf states. One of these countries, the host country, the United Arab Emirates, also committed, together with Germany, to contribute $100 million to the Climate Damage Fund, which was considered an important signal.
Many environmental protection organizations expressed their disappointment at Schulz’s speech at the United Nations climate conference in Dubai. Greenpeace’s Martin Kaiser explained on Saturday that “Schulz lacks consistency and credibility in his climate policy at home and abroad.” Kaiser called for immediate measures to combat the failure to achieve climate goals in Germany, as recently requested by the Supreme Administrative Court in Berlin-Brandenburg.
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