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02. Juli 2011
Germany and South Africa open Petersberg Climate Dialogue II with 35 participating states
Berlin 2 July 2011. Today a conference gets underway in Berlin to prepare for the UN climate summit taking place in Durban, South Africa at the end of this year. Until 4 July ministers and high-ranking representatives from 35 countries are meeting for the Petersberg Climate Dialogue II at the invitation of Federal Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and South African Minister of International Relations Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel will hold the keynote speech on Sunday. At the start of the conference Röttgen noted: "Last year on the Petersberg near Bonn we set the course for the outcome of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun. We want to build on this tradition. This year, too, we want to use this informal ministerial meeting to mark out at political level an ambitious yet realistic framework for the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Durban."
Germany and the EU advocate legally binding reduction targets as described in the Kyoto Protocol. A binding legal framework provides transparency, ensures that countries and private players have a predictable planning base and generates confidence that commitments will actually be kept. However, those states that made reduction commitments under the Kyoto Protocol will not be able to stop climate change on their own. These countries account for less than one third of global emissions, and their share continues to fall. Therefore Germany and the EU are calling on the US to make comparable commitments and for the major newly industrialised countries to set themselves appropriate and binding targets.
Röttgen: "In Cancun we achieved important progress in international climate protection. For instance the 2 degree ceiling for global warming was recognised and important decisions were taken on strengthening international climate protection architecture, such as the establishment of a Global Climate Partnership Fund to support developing countries. These decisions must now be implemented. In addition we need to find a way of increasing the level of ambition regarding reduction commitments and make it legally binding. Step by step we must develop solutions to the complex question of how much, and in what form, each country contributes. I am certain that as the next holder of the presidency South Africa will find the right balance between widely different expectations."
Background: Petersberg Climate Dialogue
The first Petersberg Climate Dialogue took place in May 2010 on the Petersberg near Bonn. It began as a political initiative by the Federal Chancellor in 2009 in Copenhagen. As president of both the EU and G8 in 2007, Germany had already taken on a pioneering role in international climate policy. The aim of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue was to comprehensively support and advance the international climate negotiations following the disappointing summit in Copenhagen and bridge the gap between "implementation and negotiation".
This year's Petersberg Climate Dialogue II will continue in the same spirit. Once again the focus is on linking implementation and negotiation. Once again, Germany is sharing the chair of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue with the president of the next climate change conference – this year, South Africa. In 2010 Germany and South Africa launched the International Partnership for Emission Reductions and MRV, thus drawing developed and developing countries closer together on one of the core issues of the negotiations.
(Document available in English only)