The crisis of species extinction can hardly be brought into the public eye in a more symbolic way: under the massive dinosaur skeleton of the "Brachiosaurus brancai" in the Berlin Museum of Natural History, an alliance of natural scientists sounded the alarm: The federal government must do more to fight the loss of biodiversity.

The signatories of the “Berlin Declaration” under the leadership of the Leibniz Natural Research Museums warn that the “greatest and most pressing challenge of the future in addition to the climate crisis” is facing them.

Katja Gelinsky

Business correspondent in Berlin

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The dinosaurs became extinct as a result of a meteorite impact, said Johannes Vogel, head of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.

"This time we humans are the meteorite that threatens up to a million species." In order to stop the loss of biodiversity in a joint international effort, at least 2 billion euros annually from the federal budget are "for the time being" necessary.

With its G-7 presidency, Germany bears a special responsibility, but at the same time has considerable potential to set the course for a trend reversal to protect the natural diversity of species and ecosystems.

The topic of protecting biodiversity is also on the agenda of the climate, energy and environment ministers of the seven leading industrial nations (G7) in Berlin.

The organizers of the G-7 meeting, Steffi Lemke's Ministry for Environmental Protection and Robert Habeck's Ministry for Economics and Climate (both Green), have countered the morbid charm of the dinosaur skeletons with a so-called future site: the EUREF campus in Berlin, where research is being carried out on the energy transition .

Habeck warned on Thursday that it is precisely in these times that the G7 must "stay together on course" and resolutely promote the global expansion of renewable energies, the decarbonization of the consumption sectors and the increase in energy efficiency.

Lemke added: "The most important signal that should go out from the G-7 meeting is that we are tackling the global crises together."

"Deepened Cooperation"

With this in mind, Lemke and the head of the American Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Michael Regan signed a declaration on Wednesday at the start of the G-7 meeting to expand cooperation between the United States and Germany on environmental policy.

"We are striving for deeper cooperation between our houses with the aim of promoting bilateral, but also regional and multilateral initiatives, where appropriate, on environmental issues of critical importance and common interest," the statement reads.

Protecting the environment and species does not get any easier when food, energy supply and supply chains are threatened.

In addition, the global expansion of renewable energies and increasing energy efficiency have become even more key issues for the G-7 environment and energy ministers since Russia's war of aggression than was already the case with the climate crisis.

The energy sector accounts for more than 70 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions.

That is why the ministers want to make this a focal point of their cooperation to ensure compliance with the Paris climate agreement.

One building block for this is an action plan by the G-7 round to supply green hydrogen.

In contrast to climate protection, there is no agreement comparable to the Paris Agreement for biodiversity protection.

A global agreement to protect biodiversity is scheduled to be agreed in late summer or early autumn at the UN Biodiversity Summit in Kunming, China.

But the preliminary negotiations are extremely difficult.

The federal government advocates setting ambitious goals – which then have to be met.

But the main problem is the question of payment.

The Global South is demanding that rich countries increase their funding for international nature and species conservation by 700 billion dollars a year by 2030.

An "absurd demand", it says behind the scenes.

The traffic light parties promised in the coalition agreement that they would “considerably increase” their financial commitment to global biodiversity protection.

Some would be happy if the G-7 environment and energy ministers in Berlin made a similar commitment to “substantial” financial expenditure.

"Checks are not put on the table," it said in the run-up to the meeting.

There is an urgent need for action, among other things, in the protection of the seas.

There are several initiatives to protect the oceans from pollution and overexploitation.

But it is difficult to make progress, not least because of the turmoil with Russia.

That is why the G-7 environment and energy ministers want to strengthen the importance of the seas for climate protection and the protection of biodiversity and natural habitats with an "Ocean Deal".

Binding standards?

The topic of sustainable supply chains is also fraught with conflict.

In the preparatory meetings, for example, there were different views as to whether companies should be prescribed binding standards.

A commitment to the traffic turnaround was also negotiated until the very end.

Through innovation, pricing, regulation and financial incentives, the G-7 environment and energy ministers want to advance decarbonization in the transport, industry and buildings sectors.

So far, the greatest progress has been made in the cement and steel industries.

The ministers also want to campaign for international climate finance – through warnings and appeals.

At the Paris climate conference in 2015, it was decided

to support developing countries in climate protection by providing 100 billion US dollars annually until 2025.

So far, however, this promise has not been kept.

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