Enlarge image

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (archive): According to his own statement, his club should not compete with the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement

Photo: Markus Schreiber / AP

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, the representatives of the international climate club initiated by Germany came together for the first time. At the UN Climate Change Conference, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called for "working together to develop the right strategies and standards for a carbon-free industry". This is what the Climate Club is supposed to do. In the meantime, 36 countries have joined forces to take on a pioneering role.

"Now we're ready to go," said the Chancellor. "We want to promote clean growth, and we want to do it fast." Scholz emphasized that the club does not want to compete with the UN climate process and the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement. "We are only strengthening cooperation between countries that are willing to go one step further," he said.

"We are united by the conviction that climate change is the greatest challenge of the 21st century," Scholz said in his speech at the event. The Climate Club has a common goal: "The decarbonisation of industries and the decoupling of growth and emissions," the Federal Chancellor continued. "We want decarbonized industrial production to become the business model of the future."

As examples, Scholz cited the steel and cement industries, where the move away from fossil fuels is considered particularly difficult and costly. The aim of the climate club is to make it possible to "expand lead markets for climate-neutral industrial products such as climate-friendly steel and cement or climate-friendly aluminium". In doing so, the members wanted to achieve a mutual exchange of goods, know-how and technologies. It's about "using different perspectives and finding solutions that work for everyone."

Preventing disadvantages in international competition

The reason for the event on the Climate Club is the conclusion of an agreement on its further work. They also discussed how they want to be able to work – a climate club secretariat is to help with this. Germany and Chile are to take over the chairmanship of the fund by the end of 2025.

The starting point for the Climate Club: The efforts of the international community to date are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial era, as targeted. This was recently shown by the UN's "Emissions Gap Report". Researchers expect global warming to be significantly greater if climate policy does not change and no more fossil emissions are released into the atmosphere as soon as possible. At the same time, the joint approach is intended to counteract the risk that countries whose companies use more complex, climate-friendly technologies will be at a disadvantage in international competition.

The German government must also do more to achieve its climate targets. The Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg ruled on Thursday that the government had a duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport and buildings. The verdict can still be appealed.

G7 countries, Kenya and Vanuatu

Scholz, like more than 140 other heads of state and government, is in Dubai until Saturday morning for a summit meeting (World Climate Action Summit), which is intended to provide additional momentum at the UN Climate Change Conference in its initial phase.

The club brings together developing countries, emerging economies as well as new and old industrialised countries. Among the now 36 club members are the seven G7 industrialized countries, the European Union, but also developing countries such as Kenya and the island state of Vanuatu. In the choice of instruments on the way to climate neutrality, the individual states should have a largely free hand. CO2 pricing is just as possible as incentives for climate-friendly production, which the USA, for example, prefers.