How will climate change affect Moscow?

Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office

The spoken word is valid!

Dear Vice Prime Minister Dr. Godejew,
Dear Governor Beglov,
Dear Prof. Dr. Litvinenko,
Dear Sir or Madam from German and Russian science, business and politics,

It is a great honor and pleasure for me to be able to speak to you today at the 12th German-Russian Raw Materials Conference.

Centuries of history, fate, wars and partnership connect Germany, Europe and Russia. That year I was in Voronezh and there, with Russian veterans, commemorated the millions of dead - Russian, but also German soldiers. My father was a soldier in Stalingrad and survived. He always felt thanks and appreciation for the Russian people and their willingness to help.
Never again war is the mission of our generation!

In 2020 we can look back on 75 years of peace and cooperation. Russia is a proud, a great country, the largest country on the planet. Together we should work together and shape a common future in peace and partnership in Europe. The world has changed.

Today, exactly 190 years ago to the day, on November 28, 1829, one of the greatest scholars on the planet, Alexander von Humboldt, gave an important lecture at the Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

At that time he already stated:
"There are changes that humans create on the surface of the continents by cutting down forests, changing the distribution of water, and blowing large amounts of vapors and exhaust gases into the atmosphere in the centers of industrial cultures."

His résumé was:
"These changes are without a doubt more important than is generally assumed."

190 years ago, Alexander von Humboldt was the first scientist to name climate change. At that time there were about 1 billion people on earth. Today, almost 4 generations later, the figure is almost 8 billion. The world population is growing by 250,000 people every day, by 80 million people once a year, 2/3 thirds of them in the developing countries, and especially in Africa. Africa will double its population by 2050. President Putin stressed the importance of Africa at the Russia-Africa summit recently.

The growing world population presents us all with new global challenges. On the one hand, it is securing global food supply. In order to feed the growing world population, an increase in production of 50% is necessary by the year 2050.

The second major challenge is the increasing global demand for energy. Closely related to the energy issue is the solution to the resource issue and climate protection and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

It is very important that Russia joined the world climate treaty. Russia is needed as an active partner in solving the world food and climate issues.

It is particularly to be welcomed that this year's conference deals with current questions and perspectives of scientific-technical cooperation in the energy and raw materials sector and bilateral cooperation projects:

• the establishment of a German-Russian sustainability partnership
• the climate-friendly transformation of the energy systems in both countries
• the development of a circular economy and the expansion of German-Russian cooperation between the regions and the universities.

Dear Mr Gordejew, ladies and gentlemen, Germany is very interested in expanding cooperation to modernize the economy and to strengthen a sustainable, resource-saving energy policy and economic development.

New technologies show us the way to a resource- and climate-protecting future. I mention the large field of digital transformation for the raw materials industry, the smart mining market, the development of a circular economy and the recovery of raw materials, the development of a modern waste infrastructure, modern recultivation methods in mining, or the German-Russian cooperation on hydrogen and Co2 -neutral fuels.

We need leaps in technology to reduce emissions and limit environmental and climate risks, also in mining and in the processing of mineral raw materials:
• Russia supplies large parts of the world with oil and gas, as well as cobalt, nickel and aluminum.
• On the one hand, Russia supplies raw materials for sustainable and climate-friendly technologies.
• On the other hand, we all know that manufacturing today still has a high impact on the environment.

I know the situation in African countries in the mining and mining industry.
And it should be our common goal to develop new technologies to protect people and the environment by reducing emissions. It is clear to all of us: the world has become a global village. We are all in the same boat, and so the effects of climate change are not only tangible and economically measurable in Africa, but also in Europe and Russia:
• The extreme weather events are increasing and causing high economic damage.
• In the summer of 2018 it did not rain for months.
• That summer we saw burning forests in Siberia.
• The harvests are smaller.

Alexander von Humboldt pointed out the consequences of climate change in Saint Petersburg 190 years ago.

On September 25, 2001, President Vladimir Putin gave a historic speech in the German Bundestag, which I was able to attend. I quote the President:
"Only extensive and equal pan-European cooperation can bring about qualitative progress in solving such major problems as environmental pollution."

That was 18 years ago and is more correct today than ever before. So, let's build on pan-European cooperation on environmental protection, resource protection, climate protection and let's use all our options.

To achieve the Paris climate protection goals and to reduce global warming to below 2 degrees, the aim is to avoid greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce, but also to adapt and maintain great climate protection potentials such as the boreal primeval forests - the huge forest areas of Russia: the Russian peat bogs, which together store as much Co2 as all forests on earth put together.

We work together successfully in science and research and want to expand this, e.g. in climate and Arctic research, Russian scientists have enormous knowledge on the question of how the thawing of the frozen permafrost affects the climate.

Germany and Russia are not only linked by an important energy and raw materials partnership. The German-Russian trade volume was in 2018
61.9 billion euros. Today 4500 companies with German capital are active in Russia and invest in the country. The chambers of commerce abroad in Moscow and Saint Petersburg each have more than 800 members.

The German-Russian raw materials forum is an important framework for further expanding and deepening this cooperation.

Russia is a crucial global partner for the protection of the planet's global goods, for safeguarding the world's food and for protecting the climate.

I wish for peace and successful cooperation between our countries in politics, business, science and society!