The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was presented in Berlin on 13 April. In the report, the scientists draw the conclusion that the internationally agreed target to limit global warming to a maximum of 2°C can still be reached provided that ambitious climate policies are pursued. The authors of the report, however, also call for rapid action. According to the report, a further delay in the implementation of ambitious climate protection measures would perceptibly reduce the number of technological options and considerably increase the costs of climate protection.

On the occasion of the presentation of the report, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel declared that Germany will continue to support a binding climate protection target in Europe. The European Union must aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030. This must be part of a triad of targets comprising a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the expansion of renewable energies and energy efficiency. The EU should commit itself as soon as possible to pursue this climate target.

Decoupling economic growth from CO2 emissions

Germany has for a long time now been a pioneer in the fight against climate change. The target contained in the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions by 21 percent by 2012 compared with 1990 has been comfortably exceeded at about 26 percent. No other EU Member State has reduced its emissions to this extent although economic output in Germany grew markedly in this period. Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sigmar Gabriel underlined: "Germany has moved extremely successfully across to clean energy production." The IPCC report, however, also shows that further efforts are necessary in Germany and worldwide to fight climate change.

We must act globally to combat climate change

It is decisive for the fight against climate change that other countries with high CO2 emissions including the U.S. and China also make ambitious climate protection efforts. Germany and the entire EU are too small to be able to guarantee global climate protection. In the course of this year and next year, i.e. until the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris, we must pave the way for a binding global agreement for the post-2020 period.

Germany as pioneer in the field of renewable energies

The world expects much from an industrial country like Germany. As pioneer in the field of renewable energies, the country is expected to demonstrate that climate-friendly, independent energy production that is secure in the long term is possible under real conditions. Federal Minister Gabriel said: "If Germany can prove with its energy reforms that this is possible, the contribution of our country will have an enormous impact worldwide."

A summary of the report can be found on the website of the German IPCC co-ordination office.