Germany pulls out of 1994 fossil fuel treaty
Germany sees that France and the Netherlands are on the right path for dropping out of the Energy Charter Treaty criticized with protecting fossil fuel usage.
Germany joined on Friday France and the Netherlands in their withdrawal from a 1994 energy treaty criticized as protecting investments in fossil fuels.
"We are consistently aligning our trade policy with climate protection and are withdrawing accordingly from the Energy Charter Treaty," said Economy Ministry parliamentary state secretary Franziska Brantner.
"This is also an important signal to the UN Climate Change Conference," she underlined.
France and the Netherlands withdrew from the Energy Charter Treaty a few weeks ago due to its incompatibility with the Paris climate agreement aimed at tackling global warming.
The treaty, which has more than 50 members, was first signed as a means of protecting energy investment, especially in Central Asia and eastern Europe in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The treaty mainly allowed energy corporations to take states as a whole to court if they take energy policy changes that hurt their investments, which could see the states paying compensation fees that could amount to several billions of dollars.
However, with Europe aiming for a carbon-neutral future, several countries now see the treaty as something they should be moving from, perceived as a source of frustration.
The European Union in June struck a compromise deal set to come into force next month if no signatories object, which will revise the treaty to limit legal actions oil conglomerates can take after they have been using their privileges to jeopardize climate goals.
However, the EU's decision was still met with a lot of criticism, with climate groups saying the many loopholes left in the updated version jeopardize all efforts aimed at curbing global warming.
This comes after the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provisional State of Global Climate published a report earlier in the week saying that the past 8 years are on their way to being declared as the warmest on record, fueled by the growing greenhouse gas concentrations and accumulated heat.
The report was released on the first day of the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), which is currently taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The event will be taking place from November 6 to 18.
The global temperature average is predicted to be 1.15 degrees Celsius above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial average. According to the report, the 10-year average for 2013-2022 is calculated to be 1.14C above the 1850-1900 pre-industrial baseline.
"The greater the warming, the worse the impacts. We have such high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere now that the lower 1.5C of the Paris Agreement is barely within reach," said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas on the report.
The report also found that the rise in global temperatures in 2021 also raised ocean temperatures - they have been particularly high in the past 20 years.
"All too often, those least responsible for climate change suffer most – as we have seen with the terrible flooding in Pakistan and deadly, long-running drought in the Horn of Africa," Taalas said, explaining that even "well-prepared" countries like those in Europe suffered from heatwaves and drought in 2022.
"As COP27 gets underway, our planet is sending a distress signal. We must answer the planet’s distress signal with action, ambitious, credible climate action. COP27 must be the place and now must be the time," Guterres said on the release of the report.
On Saturday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned in an interview for The Guardian that unless wealthy nations and developing nations make a "historic pact" on climate change, "we will be doomed."