At the start of the Petersberg climate dialogue, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) advocated the worldwide expansion of wind power and solar energy. At the two-day meeting in Berlin, she wanted to open the debate on whether a target for generating electricity from renewable energy sources could be reached at the next world climate conference, Baerbock announced on Tuesday.

The climate activist Luisa Neubauer had previously denounced the strong influence of the oil, gas and coal lobby and called for a speedy move away from climate-damaging energy sources.

The fossil industry was one of the first to know about the climate crisis through its own research, said the representative of the Fridays for Future movement of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “They chose not to warn people about global warming and instead invested endless amounts of money to mislead the public.”

Criticism of COP President al-Dschaber

In addition, Neubauer was critical of the fact that the next world climate conference COP28 in Dubai will be chaired by the top manager of an oil company. The designated COP President Sultan Ahmed al-Dschaber, who will be hosting the climate dialogue in Berlin today and tomorrow with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens), is the United Arab Emirates Minister of Industry and also the head of the state-owned oil company Adnoc.

Neubauer said the UN and especially the host country must show that they are willing to go to great lengths to make the COP the forum that solves problems – instead of creating new problems and prolonging old problems. “The Emirates’ decision to give the COP presidency to an oil giant will not make things any easier. It will be difficult to maintain the integrity of the conference in this way.”

Still no boycott

Neubauer rejects a boycott of the COP28. The conference is the only place in the world where at least an attempt is made to meet all regions of the world on an equal footing. “As long as there is even a shred of hope that real negotiations can take place, the COP is worth fighting for.”

Greenpeace had previously expressed “deeply concerned” about Al-Dschaber’s personnel. Executive director Martin Kaiser spoke of a dangerous precedent and an unprecedented conflict of interest. “It’s as if the Federal Environment Agency was headed by the head of VW,” he said.

200 states must agree

Participants from around 40 countries are expected to attend the two-day climate dialogue of the federal government in Berlin. A speech by Al-Dschaber, who will chair the climate conference in Dubai in the first two weeks of December, is also planned.

The COP President has an important role as a mediator for compromises between the almost 200 states. Al-Dschaber has already taken part in a number of UN climate conferences and is also familiar with the topic of the energy transition. In 2006 he founded and managed the state-owned renewable energy company Masdar, which has helped launch wind and solar projects in more than 40 countries.