German-Moroccan Side Event “Climate Change - Challenge for Preventive Diplomacy”

Sep 28, 2012

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(Speech of the German Foreign Minister, Dr. Guido Westerwelle at a German-Moroccan Side Event during the General Debate of the UN General Assembly “Climate Change - Challenge for Preventive Diplomacy” in the German House)

Your Excellency Mr. Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson,
Distinguished colleague Minister El Othmani,
Dr. Pachauri,
Distinguished colleagues,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I thank you for joining us to discuss the security implications of climate change. I am particularly grateful to my esteemed Moroccan colleague for co-hosting this event.
During this intense week in New York, we had to deal with many current crises. But conflict prevention is nothing of less importance.
We are all conscious that the impacts of climate change will increasingly influence our agenda. Climate change is a so-called “non-traditional security threat”. As complex as this threat appears, we have to develop a new collective approach.
Dr. Pachauri highlighted the need to manage security risks posed by extreme weather and climate events requiring better disaster preparedness.
For a rising number of UN member states, global warming and the impact on sealevels, fresh-water resources and food productivity is becoming a threatening factor.
Climate change has become an aggravating factor for forced migration in the Sahel and in parts of Asia. The livelihood of millions of people, the economic development of countries, the very existence of islands is in danger. The poorest countries in the world are again the most vulnerable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, In July last year, during the German presidency of the Security Council, we had an open debate on this topic. The Council agreed on a Presidential Statement highlighting the potential security implications of climate change.
Climate change does affect how we live on our planet. The best remedy against it is mitigation. But some countries fear that thiswill have side-effects.
If we want to succeed, we must address the concerns of those who are still skeptical. Climate-protection and economic development are not contradictory.
Protection of our climate and sustainable economic development go hand in hand when you bring new technologies into effect.
Germany is prepared to do so, with some of the most advanced energy, water and environment technologies in the world.
With our German energy policy, the socalled“Energiewende”, we have embarked on a challenging path.
Our economies and our climate will benefit from increased resource efficiency, technological progress and better energy security that will come with the
transformation of our energy mix.
No nation can win the battle against climate change single-handedly. We need a global approach.
Let us look for new partnerships with vulnerable countries. But let us also involve the big emitters into the process. And let us find win-win-situations for all concerned.
We have to focus on specific projects.
An enhanced role for the UN could contribute to achieving this goal: Several Pacific small island states as well as my British colleague William Hague suggested
asking the UN Secretary General to appoint a UN Special Envoy on Climate and Security.
One example for a ground-breaking new instrument is the Green Climate Fund, which might become the centerpiece of climate finance in the future.
Germany stands ready to support this new institution and has submitted a very attractive offer to host the Fund in the city of Bonn, our sustainability hub and my hometown. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Climate security is possible with structural changes of our economies and with a transformation of our energy systems. Climate security is possible with preventive planning for coastal security and with freshwater management. International governance has to be adapted to new circumstances. These are tasks for Foreign Ministers.
I urge you as Foreign Ministers and diplomats to engage in this geopolitical change-management to achieve Climate security.
Thank you for your attention.

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