Röttgen calls climate change an economic opportunity
With just two days left at the UN climate change summit in Cancún, Mexico, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen appealed to the leaders to see climate protection as an economic opportunity, and not a burden.
“Our strategy, to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency, proved to be successful even during the economic crisis,” he told the plenum late on Wednesday, referring to Germany’s climate environmental protection measures.
In Germany climate change is not longer seen as a threat, “but as a chance and a challenge,” he added.
Röttgen said that plans to shift the country’s energy policies could create up to 500,000 jobs and free Germany from having to import some €20 billion in foreign power.
Earlier this week the minister said he does not expect any breakthroughs at the climate change summit, and encouraged leaders to focus on implementing small steps.
But on Wednesday he called for the 190 countries to work together to reach common goals.
“Through mutual and united negotiations we can reach ambitious results,” he said.
But it remains unclear whether Röttgen’s statements will have any effect on squabbling between industrial and developing countries, who have yet to agree on mutual plans for greenhouse gas reduction and other priorities.