Germany is not fit for a climate changed world, but it can still lead the way

(EurActiv, 3 Feb 2020) Germany’s six-month presidency of the EU Council of Ministers, which starts in July, offers a great opportunity for Berlin to show leadership by supporting the implementation of the Commission’s European Green Deal agenda, write Felix Heilmann and Alexander Reitzenstein.

Felix Heilmann is a researcher at the Berlin office of E3G, a climate think-tank. Alexander Reitzenstein is policy advisor at E3G’s, Berlin office.

European decision-makers can learn many lessons from Germany’s economic success over the past decades. Perhaps the most important of these lessons is that it is no longer relevant to question whether the status quo should change – changes are already happening and will wait for no one.

Ahead of its Presidency of the European Council, it is high time for Germany to internalise this insight, and project it externally.

Mega-trends such as climate change and digitalisation are disrupting traditional foundations of stability and prosperity. These simultaneous and disruptive trends are making structural changes inevitable.

If policymakers want to reap the benefits of change and ensure climate safety for all they must start focussing on shaping the future transition. For Germany, this means it must take a more active and responsible role on the international stage, anchoring climate diplomacy as a cross-cutting priority of its foreign policy.

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EurActiv, 3 Feb 2020: Germany is not fit for a climate changed world, but it can still lead the way