Background paper outlines a strategic framework for German climate foreign policy
Ongoing deliberations within the German government receive input from the energy transition project Ariadne. The paper is led by MCC and Hertie School.
Climate foreign policy affects many departments, from climate and energy policy to industrial policy, and from trade policy to security policy. Germany is to adopt an initial strategy this year to secure climate policy internationally, maintaining competitiveness, and coordinating with other countries in the global energy transition. In a background paper, experts from the Ariadne energy transition project now outline the key points on which this strategy could be based. The paper was written under the leadership of the Berlin-based climate research institute MCC (Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change) and the Hertie School Centre for Sustainability.
The paper frames the current debate with the following questions. What are the most important strategic goals of Germany and Europe in international climate policy? Which hurdles may hinder the achievement of the goals and where are there significant uncertainties? What resources can be deployed and prioritised? How can these challenges be effectively addressed to achieve the goals? So what are possible strategies for a German climate foreign policy in the context of the European Union and other partnerships and international agreements relevant to climate policy?
Based on a series of workshops with experts, the background provides initial food for thought on the design of a climate foreign policy strategy for Germany. The researchers emphasise that it is important to have a clearly defined strategic framework for the status of climate policy against the background of other political priorities and to know how to deal with the resulting trade-offs.
The paper discusses various prioritisation options: a stringent orientation of climate foreign policy towards the Paris climate goals; a focus on competitiveness; a subordinate role of climate policy to other foreign policy goals; and climate policy as a means to an end, for example when it comes to resources and trade route issues. Corresponding bundles of measures are considered, as are approaches to organisation and coordination via ministries and institutions, and the involvement of stakeholders at the federal, European and international levels.
Reference of the cited article (in German):
Flachsland, C., Steckel, J., Jakob, M., Fahl, U., Feist, M., Görlach, B., Kühner, A., Tänzler, D., Zeller, M., 2023, Eckpunkte zur Entwicklung einer Klimaaußenpolitikstrategie Deutschlands. Kopernikus-Projekt Ariadne, Potsdam. DOI 10.48485/pik.2023.007