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Olaf Scholz's appearance on the big climate stage, at the end of his short trip to the United Arab Emirates: The Federal Chancellor is trying to score points at least here, away from the domestic budget debacle:Olaf Scholz,
» We also want to contribute to more speed in climate protection worldwide and make the energy transition a global success story. We must now all show a firm determination to phase out fossil fuels, first and foremost coal. That's what we can set sail for at this climate conference."
Susanne Götze, DER SPIEGEL"
Chancellor Scholz has done a bit of a job by the book. In any case, that's what the observers and critics here in Dubai will tell him. He has not moved much beyond the already known positions and has even campaigned for a pragmatic phase-out of fossil fuels. But he can't really say much else here. After all, Germany itself is still concluding contracts for liquefied natural gas for the next decade or two and is still building liquefied natural gas terminals off its coasts. Of course, it is difficult to argue that one should immediately phase out fossil fuels. And that's why his speech was consistent, and of course it's a logical consequence of his policy, which is also being pursued in Germany."
The so-called "high-level segment" of the world's heads of state and government is an important item on the agenda of the two-week UN Climate Change Conference COP28. After all, what has been said here acts as a barometer of the mood – also of whether the climate conference as a whole can be a success.
On the first day of the conference, Germany and the United Arab Emirates announced their intention to jointly advance the disaster fund for poor countries.
Susanne Götze, DER SPIEGEL"
This is very good news, especially for poorer countries that are particularly affected by climate change. At the same time, observers also tell me: This is a nice, positive start, but of course in the end there is also symptom control somewhere. Because what this is really about is getting emissions down. Emissions must be reduced, and drastically by 2030. There is a huge emissions gap and it has to be closed somehow. And there is no way around the fact that a phase-out of oil and gas and coal is decided here. But that is precisely what is debatable. «
Another sore point: Even in the run-up to the conference, there was astonishment and criticism about the personnel of the leadership of the World Climate Conference. Sultan Al Jaber is, of all people, the head of the state-owned oil company. In his opening speech, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company called for cooperation: countries and corporations in the oil, gas and coal industries must work together for global climate goals. But behind the scenes, it was said that the oil boss wanted to use the conference to bag some new export deals.
Susanne Götze, DER SPIEGEL
"There is a lot of mistrust here at the World Climate Conference. Will a president of this conference, who is himself the head of an oil company, really succeed in deciding to phase out oil and natural gas? Yes, there are a lot of people here who doubt that he can really fill this dual role, although he keeps stressing that he is neutral and will moderate. But already in his opening speech it was actually clear that he will probably not make a very strong case for this exit. He said that the data had to be flexible. And we'll see exactly what that means in the coming weeks. «
With 200 countries participating and 70,000 participants, a lot of potential climate saviours came together in Dubai. There is still hope that they are not only interested in beautiful pictures – but that an ambitious final declaration will be reached by the end of the conference on 12 December.