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Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze expects progress at the climate conference in Katowice

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Svenja Schulze (SPD), die neue Bundesumweltministerin. Foto: Bernd von Jutrczenka/Archiv

Despite growing international opposition, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) expects progress at the climate conference in Katowice. It is now about common rules for climate protection. „Everyone should know after this conference what he has to do, how he measures progress in climate protection and makes it transparent, and everyone should be able to understand what the other is doing,“ said Schulze of the Süddeutsche Zeitung. „That’s how commitment and trust come into being.“

States should not be deterred if large countries like the US or Brazil turn their backs on the Paris Climate Agreement. „The big ones, who will duck for a moment, will come back,“ said Schulze. „Reason will not be stopped permanently.“ At the beginning of the conference, this Monday, two dozen heads of state and government are expected in the Polish city. Germany is represented by Schulze and Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU).

Germany will foreseeably miss its climate target

The US exit from the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 has so far had no serious consequences for the negotiations: the US does not want to know anything about climate protection at the federal level, but some US states are all the more determined about that. And the US climate diplomats have at least not blocked the talks. All the more serious is the recent setback in Brazil. In January, Jair Bolsonaro will take over as President, an avowed opponent of the Paris Agreement. The ultra right fears for the national sovereignty of the country, for example in the exploitation of the Amazon forests.

In Katowice, states should also explain what they have achieved since the Paris conference – and what they intend to do by 2020. Germany, which missed its climate target in the foreseeable future, has only one coal commission. But she has just postponed her result. And the EU will refer to its new „long-term strategy“ rather than concrete. A climate-neutral union is planned – in the year 2050.