U.S. and Germany Announce Partnership to Raise Global Climate Ambition

Image: The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer

In the wake of extreme, deadly flooding in Germany and unprecedented heat and wildfires in the U.S., the two nations launched a new climate partnership last Thursday. Both countries are among the world’s largest per capita carbon emitters. The White House said that the agreement would raise global climate ambition, develop and deploy new energy technologies, and support clean energy infrastructure in developing nations.

Why This Matters: 190 countries and the EU have now signed onto the Paris agreement and have made pledges to combat and reduce their carbon emissions. But many developing nations lack the funds, resources, and technology to reach their carbon goals in time to halt catastrophic temperature rise and are asking wealthy nations to help them. Biden and Merkel say that international partnerships like this one will empower the goals and capability of all nations while ensuring a thriving economy and earth for all.

CLimate Dream Team: The United States and Germany will invest in a sustainable economy that drives inclusive growth, supports communities, and creates good jobs and a healthy environment on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond,” said a fact sheet provided by the White House. The fact sheet describes three areas of cooperation in the partnership:

  • Raising global climate ambition by developing actionable roadmaps, coordinating climate and trade agendas, mobilizing financial resources, and coordinating common interests in climate summits and forums.
  • Development and deployment of energy technologies like clean hydrogen, sustainable buildings and infrastructure, power grid improvements, and sustainable supply chains. This deployment would also focus on inclusivity and strengthening the workforce.
  • Empowering clean energy transitions in emerging economies by mobilizing resources in Eastern Europe, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, developing policy to help developing countries speedily adopt and regulate renewable energy.

The partnership will be co-chaired by Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and their counterparts in the German government.

But tensions between the countries still exist. Recently, Berlin’s support of the Nord Stream 2 project, which would create an $11 billion natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, drove a wedge between Biden and Merkel. However, both have said that Russia cannot be allowed to wield energy as a weapon against neighboring nations, more specifically, Ukraine. “While I reiterated my concerns about Nord Stream 2, Chancellor Merkel and I are absolutely united in our conviction that Russia must not be allowed to use energy as a weapon to coerce or threaten its neighbors,” said Biden.

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