In the middle of the week, Germany became the first country in the world with a “Climate Foreign Policy Strategy”, which emphasizes the importance of the Paris Agreement and sees climate protection as an important part of foreign policy. The document enshrines the idea of “closer international cooperation, for no country is in a position to protect itself from the impacts of climate change or curb the crisis on its own.” The overarching goal is to “almost halve” emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 in order to establish a socially just and economically successful transformation to a climate-friendly future that also offers an opportunity for resilience and security of future prosperity. The strategy aims to support the fight against biodiversity loss and forest conservation and to transform development cooperation and trade agreements to help other countries, especially the G20, which account for around 80% of global emissions, to bring their national climate plans onto the 1.5 degree path. The strategy includes cross-sectoral targets and is also consistent with existing strategies. In addition, all international partnership agreements are to be analyzed by the end of 2024 with a view to achieving the desired results.

This paper complements the cross-cutting climate policy task of the four ministries in the so-called “climate cloverleaf” consisting of the Federal Foreign Office, the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Environment Ministry.

Added to this is the Chancellery, which looks for a loophole at every opportunity in order to be able to boost new gas projects abroad despite all the climate protection, provided this is compatible with the Paris Agreement and necessary for security of supply. The document presented at this year’s COP28 in Dubai, where the German negotiators spoke out against it, also contains a formulation on the use of fossil fuels in line with these requirements. At the same time, however, it speaks of a “fully or predominantly decarbonized global electricity sector in the 2030s”, which “leaves no room for new coal-fired power plants”.

The topic of disaster risk management also plays a role in the new strategy and refers to new capacities and expertise for prevention and mitigation as well as strengthening the resilience of societies. The text explicitly addresses the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, early warning systems and the focus on disaster risk management to reduce damage and losses. The motivation behind this focus is reflected in various calculations which show that “anticipatory humanitarian aid has two to seven times more impact than if the same amount of funds were only deployed after the disaster”.

The English summary can be found here.