Petersberg Climate Dialogue must step up climate action in critical year

Published: 5th May 2021

Governments must build back better low carbon economies post the pandemic to avoid fuelling the climate crisis, warned Oxfam today ahead of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on 6-7 May. The virtual meeting will bring together government ministers from across the globe to discuss international climate action ahead of this year’s critical UN summit COP26 in autumn.

Jan Kowalzig, Senior Climate Policy Advisor at Oxfam said: “We are calling on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and ministers of rich nations to ramp up efforts to slash global emissions and to increase support to developing countries bearing the brunt of the escalating climate crisis. Merkel must show Germany’s responsibility towards vulnerable countries and commit to doubling Germany’s annual climate finance contribution by 2025.”

“Rich polluting countries have failed to keep their promise of providing $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries cut emissions and adapt to a changing climate. Poor countries now have to cope with the harrowing impacts of the climate crisis on top of COVID-19. Bangladesh alone is already spending $5 billion a year to adapt to climate disasters which have battered vulnerable people’s lives and livelihoods. Developing countries may need in total up to $300 billion a year by 2030.”

“Despite the escalating climate crisis, global efforts to cut emissions remain alarmingly low. The combined effect of emission cuts offered to date by countries keeps the world on a disastrous trajectory of global warming. Most rich polluting countries refuse to contribute their fair share to the required effort of halving global emissions by 2030. This alarming inaction is threatening the very survival of vulnerable people around the world such as those hit hardest by deadly cyclones in Asia and Central America, and devastating locust swarms across Africa.”

“It is deeply disappointing that compensating low-income countries for the economic loss they have endured as a result of the climate crisis, has been kept off this year’s agenda.  Developing countries –many had little or no responsibility in causing this climate crisis - could face economic damages worth up to $1.8 trillion every year by 2050. Ministers of rich countries should at least show commitment to developing future global mechanisms to assist vulnerable countries in covering these costs.”  

Notes to editors

  • The Petersberg Climate Dialogue is an annual Ministerial gathering. It will be hosted by Germany and the UK which is hosting this year’s UN climate summit in Dec 2021). The Dialogue is designed to prepare the key issues on the agenda for this year’s UN climate summit COP26 and to advance overall discussions on global climate action, including on the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Due to the Corona pandemic, the 2021 Dialogue will be held virtually from 6-7 May. Around forty countries have been invited including wealthy polluting nations and key negotiating groups in the UN climate talks such as the least developed countries, Small Island States, and the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
  • This year the agenda will focus on completing the rulebook of the Paris Agreement, especially related to the implementation of its Article 6 on co-operative approaches or to possible common timeframes of future national climate plans regularly submitted under the Paris Agreement. Ministers will also meet in dedicated rounds to discuss issues around climate finance, adaptation, and how to ensure a just transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient development.
  • By this year’s UN climate summit COP26 held in Glasgow, all countries are to submit enhanced plans to cut emissions.

Contact information

Nesrine Aly in Egypt | 

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