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Nations restate commitment to Paris Agreement

The eighth Petersberg Climate Dialogue concluded on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 with a clear commitment to the Paris Agreement and to its ambitious implementation.

Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) delivers her speech on May 23, 2017 in Berlin at the Petersberg Climate VIII Dialogue event. Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / POOL / Kay Nietfeld

The key topic at this year’s meeting was the preparation for the Climate Conference COP23, to take place in November in Bonn under the Presidency of Fiji.

Ministers from regions around the world responded to the joint invitation from Federal Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks and the Prime Minister of Fiji, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama.

Prime Minister Bainimarama said: “Only by the entire world coming together as one to address the impacts of climate change can we effectively tackle this crisis. Climate change affects every person on earth and especially those in vulnerable countries like Fiji. I am convinced that when we act in the interest of the most vulnerable, we are acting in the interests of us all – because we are all vulnerable and we all need to act.”

Federal Environment Minister Hendricks said: “The Petersberg Climate Dialogue has shown strong multilateral solidarity on the issue of climate action. The world is standing together and bringing the Paris Agreement to life. More and more countries understand that climate action modernises economies. Ambitious, well-made climate policy does not put the brakes on growth – it fuels growth.”

The OECD report “Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth”, which was drawn up as a part of the German G20 Presidency, was a topic of discussion at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue. Another focus of the talks was the preparation for the Climate Conference COP23, which will address the rulebook on the detailed implementation of the Paris Agreement.

In addition, preparation for the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue was discussed. This dialogue will assess in detail the progress the international community has made so far in climate action.

Germany is supporting Fiji as technical host of COP23. In cooperation with the UNFCCC-Secretariat, Fiji and Germany have created a plan for a conference that will give space to climate diplomats as well as non-state actors. According to the principle “one conference, two zones”, there will be the “Bula Zone” for negotiations and the “Bonn Zone” devoted to climate initiatives and projects.

Prime Minister Bainimarama remarked: “In Bonn, I will be dividing my time between what we are calling the Bula Zone – the formal negotiations – and the Bonn Zone – which is where much of the action will be. My goal is to also encourage the non-state actors to further initiatives that connect the global and the local.”

Minister Hendricks commented: “Fiji is the first Small Island Developing State to take on the Presidency of a Climate Conference. We are happy and thankful that Fiji will be actively pushing forward the implementation of the Paris Agreement and we are pleased to assist Fiji in carrying out the conference. In Paris, the international community concluded an agreement. Now we want to network societies more closely. Climate action will ultimately only succeed if as many stakeholders as possible do their part.”

The German government has been organising the Petersberg Climate Dialogue since 2010, when it was held on the Petersberg near Bonn. This meeting has now established itself as an important event for international climate diplomacy. It is held in an informal setting to foster open debate. The co-chair at the Climate Dialogue is the country presiding over the next Climate Change Conference.

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