The Future of Global Climate Policy - Foundation Office United Kingdom and Ireland
On 13th December, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung partnered-up with the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security at King’s College for their final energy talk in 2017. In the context of the second anniversary of the Paris Agreement, the distinguished panel addressed critical issues such as the future of global climate policy and changes in climate financing.
In her keynote speech, British minister for climate change and industry, Claire Perry, regretted that the German government did not send a deputy to the Paris Climate Summit on 12th December. Mrs Perry highlighted Britain’s leading and longstanding role in international climate policy. Britain is among the first countries to implement a legally binding Climate Act that takes both global warming and energy security into consideration. The minister pointed out that the UK recently joint the Global Alliance to Power Past Coal that aims to get rid of coal energy by 2030.
The first panel dealt with the future of global climate policy and we are very pleased that we could welcome such a distinguished panel including Chris Mottershead, Senior Vice President of King’s College, London.
Energy and climate issues have long been a cause for tensions between the European Union and the Russian Federation, Dr Frank Umbach who is research director at EUCERS explained. Russian initiatives to exploit artic energy resources have triggered territorial disagreements with Norway for instance. Russia does not perceive climate change as a threat but more as a possibility since it would create new trading routes across the Artic Sea and allow access to natural resources that had previously been untapped, Dr Umbach followed.
Christoph Wolff, managing director at the European Climate Foundation, reflected on Europe’s role in international climate politics. Both India and China have already made crucial efforts to improve their carbon balance. However, it seems that Europe still struggles to find a coherent position on for example coal energy. Mr Wolf recommended that the European Union should find its role in international climate politics soon in order to catch up. Fortunately, there are reasons to believe that the EU is finding its role: a regulation that could be labelled European Climate Act has already entered the trialogue stage.
The second panel including Mrs Ingrid Holmes and Mr Chris Barrett discussed urgent questions of global climate financing and investment.
The 2015 Paris Agreement marks a mile stone in international climate politics and is thought to be both an international agreement and a framework for legally binding climate action programs, Dr Megan Bowman who is a law-lecture and co-founder of the Climate Law and Governance Hub at King’s College, reflected. The amount of money that is discussed in international politics-circles to tackle climate change does in no way match the amount of money that is needed for that purpose estimated by climate researchers. People have to understand that climate change is a social issue and not only a political or economic one, Dr Bowman followed.