At the Federal Foreign Office's 17th Forum Global Issues, Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (14 June) called for greater European diplomacy in combating climate change. In his closing speech, the Minister said,
"The findings of the 17th Forum Global Issues have convinced me more than ever that we need a European diplomacy to face the foreign and security policy challenges presented by climate change. Under the German EU Presidency we have set ambitious, some would say ground-breaking, goals to reduce greenhouse gases, boost energy efficiency and expand renewable energies. The EU is thus playing a pioneering and leading role in this area. We must be creative in performing this role. Climate change and security must therefore remain on the EU's foreign and security policy agenda even when our Presidency is over.
Furthermore, the international community must in future prove even more convincingly that it can act as one on global policy issues concerning resources and the environment. This applies to fertile land and clean water as well as to energy resources. Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia are examples of regions in which the close relationship between foreign and security policy issues and climate change is already apparent. Here we need a new form of détente. A form of détente which rests on a central pillar comprising the development of global and regional regulation mechanisms for the common use of resources as well as peaceful conflict resolution.
This preventive approach also applies in an international context. I have therefore invited the foreign ministers of the G8 and G5 countries along with other key partners to come to Berlin at the end of the year to further pursue the foreign and security policy issues raised by energy security and climate change. As foreign ministers we want to send a message to Bali that we intend to make climate policy a driving force behind international cooperation and stability."
The 17th Forum Global Issues is taking place at the Federal Foreign Office and the Berlin branch of the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau - Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW) in conjunction with the 39th Berlin Expert Talks on Globalization from 13 to 14 June 2007.
Following the handing over of the 2007 flagship report on World in Transition: Climate Change as a Security Risk by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) on 6 June, the main focus of the forum will be discussion of new strategic approaches in national and international policy.
Participants include high-ranking decision-makers and experts such as Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Advisor to the Federal Government, Srgjan Kerim, President-Elect of the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations, Reinhard Bütikofer, Federal Chairman of Alliance 90/The Greens, and Rajendra Kumar Pachauri (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC), as well as representatives of leading international non-governmental organizations such as WWF and Care International.