Spotlight Activity: New IPCC Report Surfaces Divisions in Parliament
The UN’s latest IPCC report has seen the German’s Green and ruling government party members exchange views on the international efforts required to meet the Paris agreement. Members of the Green party blamed the ruling party members for too much tough talk on climate action with little to show in a decade. According to an article in cleanenergywire.com, the German government has been criticized over the past weeks for failure to solve the diesel emissions scandal and implement the key European Climate policy in the transport sector.
The Green party’s Oliver Krischer said that “mass protests at Hambach forest against the cutting down of trees for the expansion of coal mining by the energy company RWE is a clear show of citizens’ anger and frustration for the lack of serious climate actions”. However, the ruling party spokesperson made several observations. For instance, German government alone cannot solve global climate change problem, a global collective effort is required. Further, the Green party members are not keen on the jobs, costs and the impact of Paris agreement to the economy.
However, the Environment Minister Schulze said that the central IPCC message is a warning that we are running out of time in meeting the 1.5oC goal of Paris agreement. The minister promised to try as fast as possible to end coal, gas and oil use as a source of energy. Schulze laid emphasis on Germany’s Climate Protection Act to be introduced in 2019 with binding targets in all sectors of the economy. Further, Schulze indicated that climate action is not an obstacle to economic growth but an opportunity for economic growth. Klaus Mindrup warned that Germany would face up to 60 billion Euros of fines from the EU, if it failed to meet its emission reduction targets. On the other hand, the right-wing AfD did not hesitate to say that climate change is a hoax tantamount to religion adding that coal exit and transformation of other energy sectors would betray workers and reduce the competitiveness of the industry in general.
Status: Right Direction
The immediate debate of the IPCC report is commendable. The debate offered different views of climate change and action issues with key stakeholders recognizing their failure to act in line with the Paris agreement targets. The German government identified the areas it has failed, the implications and acknowledges the actions that need to be undertaken. The Minister for Environment assured members of parliament and the general public that it would introduce legally binding targets in response to the IPCC report through the Climate Protection Act in 2019.
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