Informal meeting of environment ministers seeked to promote new alliances in international climate protection

Federal Environment Minister Altmaier speaking

Picture: Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net

Environment ministers from around the world came together in Berlin on 16 and 17 July 2012 to discuss new ideas and partnerships to advance international climate policy. "The international climate process needs new momentum. We will take practical examples from different countries and use them to discuss how concrete initiatives and alliances can advance international climate protection on all levels. I am hoping the meeting will inject new impetus into the upcoming UN climate conference in Doha," said German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier. 

Environment ministers and high-ranking representatives from 30 countries discussed core political issues in the run-up to the next UN climate conference in Doha. The meeting was co-chaired by Germany's Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah. German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the keynote speech on 16 July. 

At the last UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, the international community decided to negotiate a new climate agreement by 2015 to come into force in 2020. At the same time, there is a common consensus that the climate change mitigation measures already pledged will not be sufficient to keep the rise in temperature below the two-degree cap. "To successfully tackle the challenges of global climate change, we need a whole array of initiatives, combined with cooperation among countries who want to make progress together," Mr Altmaier said. Doha should provide a space for initiatives of that kind. "It is crucial to ensure that there is always a close link between national action and international negotiation," he added. 

This was the third time the Petersberg Climate Dialogue has been held and it has become an important date on the international climate negotiations calendar. Since 2010 it has been held in the middle of the year to prepare for the following UN climate conference towards the end of the year. 

The German Federal Environment Ministry shared the lessons learned in International Climate Initiative (ICI) projects, which use various innovative approaches to tackle the challenge of climate change. The German Government thus shows how it contributes to climate change mitigation and adaptation at all levels – national and international, from local pilot projects to political negotiations.