BERLIN ( Associated Press) – The United States and Germany signed an agreement Friday to deepen their cooperation on moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy in an effort to rein in climate change.
The deal will see the two countries working together to develop and deploy technologies that will accelerate the clean energy transition, particularly in the areas of offshore wind power, zero-emissions vehicles and hydrogen.
The US and Germany also pledged to cooperate to promote ambitious climate policies and energy security around the world.
US climate envoy John Kerry said the two countries aim to take advantage of the transition to clean energy as quickly as possible through the creation of new jobs and opportunities for businesses in the growing market for renewable energy.
For example, hydrogen may be classified as “green”, such that the market relies on general standards. Officials will now work on reaching a common definition to ensure hydrogen produced on one side of the Atlantic can be sold on the other side.
Germany’s Energy and Climate Minister Robert Hebeck said the agreement reflects the urgency of tackling global warming. Scientists have said that drastic reductions in emissions around the world are needed this decade if the targets set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement are to be met.
“Time is really running out,” Hebek said, calling climate change “the challenge of our political generation.”
The US-German agreement was signed during a meeting of energy and climate ministers of the Group of Seven wealthy countries.
The group was expected to announce a series of new commitments later on Friday to tackle climate change, including a common goal to burn coal for electricity and providing financial aid to poor countries hit by global warming. .
Coal is a heavily polluting fossil fuel that is responsible for a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans.
G-7 members Britain, France and Italy have set deadlines to stop burning coal for electricity within the next few years. Germany and Canada are targeting 2030; Japan wants more time; While the Biden administration has set a target to end the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation in the United States by 2035.
Setting a common deadline would put pressure on other major polluters to follow suit and build on a settlement agreement at last year’s United Nations climate summit, where nations agreed to simply “phasing out” coal, rather than just “phasing out” it. Committed to – without a specific date.
Habeck said the issue could be taken forward at the G-7 leaders’ summit in Elmau, Germany, next month and again later this year at a meeting of the Group of 20 major and emerging economies, which account for 80% of global emissions. are responsible for.
Getting all G-20 countries to sign on to ambitious targets set by some of the most advanced economies will be crucial, as countries such as China, India and Indonesia rely heavily on coal.
Rich countries are also under pressure to increase their financial aid to poor countries ahead of this year’s UN climate meeting in Egypt. In particular, developing countries want an explicit commitment that they will receive funding to combat the loss and damage caused by climate change.
Rich countries have opposed the idea for fear of being liable for costly disasters caused by global warming.
The meeting in Berlin will also seek to reach agreements to phase out combustion engine vehicles, boost funding for biodiversity programs, protect the oceans and reduce plastic pollution.
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