It depends on 2021

It depends on 2021
  • OfAnna-Katharina Hornies

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This is the “Super Year” of the Environment and Climate Policy.

In the year 2021 there is no less work than what has become the turning point of mankind: coping with and reconstructing Kovid-19 coincides with the “super year” of international environmental and climate policy. It is important to seize this opportunity.

At this time, however, the Kovid-19 incentive packages differ extensively worldwide in terms of financial volumes and the environmental and social standards associated with them. According to the International Monetary Fund, they range from 9.3 percent of GDP in high-income countries to six percent in emerging countries and 1.8 percent in low-income countries. According to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, to ensure a socially and ecologically sustainable “further better construction”, these financial leavers must combat the social inequalities caused by the epidemic and prevent the climate crisis.

In four compromise negotiations of international environmental and climate policy, central decisions must be made in 2021: the Conference of the Parties to Biodiversity in China in May and the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Scotland in November, in the past, in some cases inadequate, implementation. Must be evaluated and ambitious new targets set.

It is important in Scotland to agree on an international decorbonization strategy by 2050 that will fundamentally change our economies and societies around the world. These frameworks should support negotiations in March on the sustainable use of the desert and the sea and dealing with its resources.

A strong presence and leadership in these negotiations in particular is expected from Europe, the United States and China. It was flanked by the chairmanship of the EU Council of Germany (2020), Portugal and Slovenia (2021), Italy’s G20 Presidency and Great Britain’s G7 Presidency (and Germany in 2022). China has deployed carbon dioxide to be neutralized by 2060 through its voluntary commitment in late 2020. The change in leadership gives hope in the United States.

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The works of 2021 are of historical dimension. Political circumstances are challenging, but invite a little optimism.

The author is a director at the German Development Institute and a professor at the University of Bonn.


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