Since its establishment in 2011, the Federal Foreign Office Climate Fund has financed projects in various countries, with the aim of raising awareness of climate change and its consequences, and with a focus on presenting possible solutions.
The current goal is to help build commitment and knowledge amongst decision-makers, scientists and the general public for a successful implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, as well as for the development and implementation of more ambitious national climate policies pre-2020.
ENGAGING BRAZILIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS
Brazil is the ninth largest energy consumer in the world. Its rising energy consumption is now at a crossroads, as hydropower, fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable sources compete to fuel the booming economy. In this context, Brazil is engaged in a vigorous search for a sustainable energy system that can meet present and future challenges. The country’s leaders are therefore looking for knowledge and insights on innovative technologies for harnessing renewable energies and improving energy efficiency.
Financed by the Climate Fund of the German Federal Foreign Office, Brazilian parliamentarians were invited to Germany to exchange knowledge on the benefits of sustainable energy systems with environmental decision-makers. The knowledge exchange with German experts provided an opportunity to promote the benefits of renewable energies and prepare the ground for more fruitful German-Brazilian cooperation.
EUROPEAN CLIMATE DIPLOMACY DAY AND WEEK
On 9 September 2014 a German-British-French Climate Day was organized by diplomats of the three countries in numerous countries around the world.
In January 2015 EU Foreign Ministers agreed to transform this into an European Climate Diplomacy Day, held on and around 17 June 2015. Together with EU delegations and embassies of other EU Member States, over 50 German missions abroad dedicated this day to raising awareness about climate change and the need to act, sending out a joint European message.
In Berlin on that day, the Foreign Office, in collaboration with the French and British Embassies, organised a range of different actions including an expert panel at the French Embassy where the question “How does climate change concern you?” was discussed by the experts and around 100 guests. During the discussion, the panellists highlighted the fact that climate change is a pressing and multifaceted issue, and collective action is needed. In Ankara, German, British and French Ambassadors took part in a collective tree planting action with the slogan “Adopt a Tree!”. In Paris, the German Ambassador joined other diplomats in cycling to the French Foreign Ministry to raise awareness for climate change. And on social media, embassies used the hashtag #ClimateDiploDay to tweet their messages about climate action – in unison with a host of other activities to mark the day.
Building on the success in 2014 and 2015, the day was once more enlarged the following year to European Climate Diplomacy Week and was held from 12 to 16 September. Again, German embassies, EU delegations and embassies of EU partners joined forces to organise numerous climate-related events around the globe, often supported with co-funding from the German Foreign Office climate fund.
TRANSATLANTIC CLIMATE BRIDGE: HUMAN IMPACT SALON SERIES
Germany and the United States have been strong partners in a joint effort to address the significant challenges posed by climate change. To investigate similarities, differences and areas of potential cooperation in climate action between the U.S. and Germany, the Human Impacts Institute (HII) collaborated with the Transatlantic Climate Bridge Programme – initiated by the Federal Foreign Office in 2008 – to organise a two-year national tour of Human Impact Salons. Beginning in 2013, the HII travelled to eight cities across the United States creating a platform to exchange views and share experiences in terms of climate action by bringing together unlikely allies from different sectors such as policy, design, arts, education and more. This has also been reflected in the diversity of formats used during the meetings, ranging from video and music performances, theatre and role playing, all the way to public talks and panel discussions.
On 5 November 2015, as the final stop of the tour, the Salon crossed the “Transatlantic Climate Bridge” to Berlin where together with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the HII brought together a variety of experts from different areas. The event highlighted the work being done in the U.S. and Germany on climate, and looked at different sectors such as finance, design, communication, policy and art to examine how the issue of climate change is being addressed.
CAIRO CLIMATE TALKS (CCT)
Building on the strong partnership between Egypt and Germany in the fields of environment and energy, the local German Embassy initiated a dialogue platform in 2011 to exchange experiences, raise awareness and foster cooperation between policy-makers, businesses, the scientific community and civil society. The Cairo Climate Talks are organised jointly by the German Embassy and the Egyptian Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Environment. The monthly podium discussions with leading policy-makers and experts from around the world are accompanied by capacity building workshops and roundtable discussions for practitioners from Egypt.
Ongoing talks have touched upon diverse topics, including the role of youth in facing challenges posed by climate change, the adaptation of urban communities and finding sustainable water solutions for Egypt. Talks in 2016 have focused, for example, on the topic of climate finance and how the Paris Agreement can be put into action. So far, the CCTs have attracted hundreds of participants from civil society, policy-makers, practitioners and experts from academia.