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Aligning Climate Agendas for COP27

International policymakers convene at Petersberg Climate Dialogue

Germany introduced the concept of a “global shield” to develop concrete action plans for climate-preparedness, a renewable energy transition, and climate action targeted to protect vulnerable countries, but critics say that the overall results of the conference are not concrete enough.

High-level policymakers from around 40 nations convened this week at the 13th Petersberg Climate Dialogue ahead of the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, later this year. While the meeting is not an official preparatory conference, it is meant to kick off discussions on international climate protection agreements, which will be further developed, if not confirmed, at COP27. Germany officially presented its concept of a newly defined “global protective umbrella” to advance climate action negotiations, which would better prepare countries to react more efficiently to expected future climate catastrophes.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, who presided over the proceedings, urgently addressed the delegates that “the climate crisis cannot be overshadowed by other crises since it acts like a catalyst. Even though other crises might seem more important than climate change right now, we can’t delay climate action.” In her speech, she went on to urge the importance of international cooperation, as well as the need to provide more funding for technical assistance for climate-change related losses and damages.

The whole globe “at the ready”

Minister Baerbock’s call to action was underscored by the unveiling of the “global shield” concept, which was previously hinted at during the G7 summit in June. The idea is to have a safety net in place that would act as an early warning and offensive measure before predicted natural disasters occur. At the center of the proposal is a coordinated structure of preparedness planning developed by countries in the Global South and sufficient financial systems backed by industrialized countries to be set into action.

The 2022 Petersberg Climate Dialog revisited some of the most contentious discussion points from last year’s climate dialogue, namely loss and damage related to climate change, and how it might be better mitigated by advanced action. The agenda focused on a call to action for partnering nations to increase their financial commitments to reach the $100 billion goal to support a climate risk fund by 2023, to support the Global South to make an energy switch to renewables, and to continue to reduce dependency on fossil fuels across the board.

Despite the current energy crisis, German government representatives underlined that Germany will not deviate from the national climate goals. No concrete decisions or commitments were made at the conference, leaving a lot of open items for building the upcoming COP’s agenda.



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