Status: 01.11.2021 8:19 p.m.
The international leaders are calling for more commitment to climate protection – and yet they have done terrifyingly little themselves, according to environmental protection associations. There is also clear criticism of Chancellor Merkel.
At the beginning of the World Climate Conference in Glasgow, activists called on the heads of state and government to take vigorous action against global warming. Instead of reducing emissions and putting the world on a safer path, they have so far only emitted hot air, said Nafkote Dabi, who is responsible for climate policy at Oxfam. No empty promises are needed, but concrete actions.
The Oxfam activists posed as members of a Scottish bagpipe band and wore masks with the likenesses of US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Poor countries and vulnerable communities need money to tackle climate change, Dabi said. “You have to take this seriously, support vulnerable countries to adapt to the worst effects of the climate crisis,” she said.
Concrete criticism of Merkel’s speech
There was also concrete criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s speech: The outgoing Chancellor appealed to the world community to “show more ambition and usher in a decade of implementation,” said WWF board member Eberhard Brandes. “Merkel did not announce anything new about the German contribution,” he added, however.
During her chancellorship, “the expansion of renewables collapsed, emissions barely fell for almost ten years, with billions of euros in environmentally harmful subsidies.” In this respect, it is now the task of the coming government to “finally bring Germany to the 1.5 degree course through decisive action”.
“It is an irony of history that after 16 years of slow progress, it is now putting such a clear call for action in front of the next government’s door,” commented Germanwatch managing director Christoph Bals. In doing so, Merkel had increased the pressure to succeed in the impending traffic light coalition and thus “put her finger on the critical flank of the coalition negotiations” between the SPD, the Greens and the FDP.
“Frighteningly little has happened”
As the Environment Minister at the time, Merkel chaired the first climate conference 26 years ago. “Since then, shockingly little has happened,” BUND Chairman Olaf Bandt also drew a critical assessment of the situation. The German climate protection measures are “far from being Paris-compatible”. Bandt also called for the new government coalition to “take the necessary measures immediately”. Specifically, he named an exit from coal by 2030 and the environmentally friendly expansion of renewable energies, significant progress in the building sector and “a real turnaround in agriculture and transport”.
“During her term in office, Angela Merkel advanced climate protection on the international stage, but repeatedly postponed it in her own country,” Greenpeace climate expert Lisa Göldner accused the Chancellor of. She also criticized Merkel’s focus in her speech on higher CO2 prices. “She does not mention the steps that are really necessary: the expansion of renewables and the phase-out of climate-damaging energies such as coal, oil and gas.”
“Merkel is jointly responsible for 16 years of stagnation in climate policy in our country,” explained the managing director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH), Sascha Müller-Kraenner. “The fact that all she can think of in the end is global emissions trading is an indictment.”