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Germany’s contribution to international climate diplomacy

15.02.2018 - Article

Germany’s contribution to international climate diplomacy

As the 21st century progresses the consequences of global climate change will have a major impact on people all around the world. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions released into the earth’s atmosphere are seen as the main cause of the steadily increasing global average temperatures recorded since the mid-20th century. The failure of the wheat harvest in Russia, flooding in Pakistan and the terrible drought in East Africa have recently highlighted what a critical role climatic conditions play in sustaining human life.

Climate security is indispensable for global prosperity, for food, water and energy security as well as for an open world economy, cross-border cooperation and the rule of law. To avoid exacerbating observed climate trends and to tackle man-made global warming on a long-term basis, it is crucial to keep the concentration of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere to a level that will prevent further damage to the global climate system. That is the goal of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The Kyoto Protocol adopted in December 1997 at the 3rd Conference of States Parties to the Convention is the most important piece of legislation enacted to date for the protection of the global ecosystem.

The German Government is keen to take international climate diplomacy forward and is actively involved in efforts to this end. At German initiative the Foreign Affairs Council of the European Union agreed that European climate diplomacy should be intensified. In the same month the UN Security Council – during Germany’s presidency – for the first time recognized that climate change may have implications for peace and security. Germany’s climate diplomacy hopes to use this momentum to step up the campaign for a legally binding and universal convention to combat climate change.

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