Scholz: G7 countries establish climate club
Berlin The G7 countries are founding a “climate club” that will start work next year. They invite interested states to join the community in the coming year and to help shape its work. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the topic had been worked on intensively since June and that a first statute was agreed on Monday. “This is how we found the climate club,” added the chancellor.
Scholz used the G7 summit in Elmau under the German presidency in June to advance the issue. Scholz has long been an advocate of the climate club idea. He had already campaigned for the foundation as finance minister.
The heads of state and government of the G7 countries passed a statute on Monday that is intended to form the basis for further expansion in the coming year. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is to set up a secretariat for the climate club together with the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The idea: countries with great ambitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions join forces and work together to advance climate protection. Ideally, your ambition will spread to other countries and regions, helping global climate protection to progress. In essence, it is about uniting as many countries as possible under the umbrella of the “Climate Club” and agreeing on a common path to climate neutrality by 2050.
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The members should agree on a selection of climate policy instruments. Above all, this includes creating markets for CO2-free products, pricing CO2 and avoiding the exodus of industry due to CO2 costs, known in technical jargon as “carbon leakage”.
Habeck: Bringing climate-friendly resources to the market faster
The climate club does not want to be perceived as a competitor to the climate protection efforts under the umbrella of the UN, but as a supplement. For years, the process of the world climate conferences of the UN has been suffering from the fact that new and ever more ambitious climate goals are being set there, but individual states do not feel bound to actually achieve these goals. The climate club wants to break up this contradiction.
Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) said that the conversion of industry to climate-friendly processes and technologies was essential to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. “This is an issue that does not only concern G7 members. In the climate club, committed states can become the international drivers for reducing emissions in industry,” said Habeck.
They want to bring climate-friendly raw materials, such as green steel, to the market faster and improve their chances internationally.
Chancellor Scholz said that the community should not be a G7 initiative, but should be broadly supported globally. “With the climate club and the socially just conversion of our industries towards climate neutrality, we are making an important contribution to achieving global climate goals.”
Decarbonization as a “climate club” priority
The focus of the climate club should initially be the decarbonization of industry. Here, the exchange on international framework conditions should be strengthened in order to accelerate work on common standards, methodologies and strategies for important industrial sectors.
The G7 countries account for 31 percent of global economic output and 21 percent of global CO2 emissions. However, China, the world’s largest CO2 emitter, is not part of the G7 group. It is difficult to imagine that China would join the climate club at the moment. Beijing suspended the climate dialogue with the US in the summer. They also don’t want to join a climate club that the USA is a member of.
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