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Climate Crisis Is World’s Biggest Security Problem – German Minister

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has declared that climate change is the biggest security problem in the world today.

The minister made the observation while speaking ahead of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin on Monday.

The Petersberg Climate Dialogue is central to paving the way for a successful 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP27, which is taking place in the Egyptian coastal town of Sharm el-Sheikh in November.

The German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is currently hosting representatives of some 40 countries in Berlin to participate in the preparatory conference. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is also due to address the meeting, which is being co-hosted by Germany and Egypt.

“The climate crisis is now the biggest security problem for all people on this earth”, Baerbock said.

The climate crisis, according to her, does not stop at any border and that is why the answers must not stop at any border either. “We are all in the same boat, which means that we can only turn the tide together”, she added.

She noted that the Russian invasion of Ukraine marked a setback in the fight against climate change. The minister also disclosed that Germany “will bring more coal-fired power plants online in the coming months, but only temporarily”.

The German government recently approved the use of more coal-fired power plants in light of the drastic reduction of gas from Russia.

In his address at the opening ceremony of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, Chancellor Scholz expressed his concern at a “global renaissance of fossil energy” resulting from a gas shortage caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“No one can be happy with the fact that the share of coal-fired electricity generation is rising, with us as well. This makes it all the more important that we make completely clear that this is a strictly limited temporary emergency measure that will not be at the expense of our climate targets”, he added.

He said the same applied to investment in gas infrastructure, such as the new offshore LNG terminals Germany is constructing to import gas. These, according to him, had to be in line with the target of becoming carbon neutral in the future, in Germany and the world.

“In concrete terms, this means that we are not creating new long-term dependencies on fossil energy resources – not with us and also not in the producing countries”, he further explained.

Notably, the German government wants to present its concept for a so-called “global protective umbrella” against climate risks at the conference.

It aims to strengthen and develop the global architecture of climate risk financing and insurance for the most vulnerable people and countries, according to the German Development Ministry.

A senior ministry official, Jochen Flasbarth said it is no longer a question of whether climate damage will occur, but only how often, how severe and how expensive it will be, and above all, who will be particularly affected.

“We must recognize that there is climate damage and that the most vulnerable countries in particular need our solidarity to deal with it”, he stressed.

Climate change has cost Germany an average of €6.6 billion ($6.7 billion) per year since 2000, according to a study commissioned by the Economy Ministry. The study also revealed that the total cost since that time has been €145 billion.

A renowned German Meteorologist and climate researcher, Mojib Latif has observed that it is already too late to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
Latif told Germany’s Bayern media group that “with today’s greenhouse gas emissions, we will surpass this level in just under ten years”.

Continuing he said: “If you take what the politicians are currently doing worldwide, we are more on course for 3 degrees. We are approaching the point where one has to admit: Time has run out”.

He stressed that three degrees of global warming would be a “catastrophe”. The climate researcher also pointed out that there always seemed to be more pressing issues to tackle than climate protection.


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