Interview | Professor Viadrina at the Climate Conference: “Global problems such as climate change can only be solved through the global institutions of the United Nations”

Interview | Viadrina is a climate economist at the Climate Conference

Global problems such as climate change can only be solved through the global institutions of the United Nations.


Audio: Brandenburg Antenna | 11/22/2022 | Climate economist Reimund Schwarze | picture: UFZ

After the World Climate Conference, many climate advocates were awakened by the results. Raymond Schwartz of Viadrina takes a less pessimistic view. He notes successes, but still sees great tasks for the international community.

The United Nations climate conference in Egypt concluded a few days ago. In their closing declaration, about 200 countries agreed to, among other things, a fund to offset climate damage in poor countries and burn less coal. Did not say goodbye to oil and gas. Raimund Schwarz, a climate economist from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research and professor at the European Viadrina University Frankfurt (Oder), was on site as an observer. rbb | 24 Talk to him about the conference.

rbb | 24: Mr. Schwartz, the German government, the European Union and the United Nations rated the results of the World Climate Conference as disappointing and in some cases inadequate. How do you rate the results?

Raymond Black: From a German and European perspective, there were certainly major disappointments. In many developing countries – especially those affected by climate damage and losses such as Pakistan or Bangladesh – the result is celebrated. So far it is a balanced score for the world.

However, there is criticism that in many areas no agreement can be reached between the actors. Is the format of the global climate conference still up-to-date, or should climate policy decisions be made in smaller groups?

Global problems such as climate change can only be solved through the global institutions of the United Nations. There is no alternative to this. They give us direction. To a large extent, the Paris Agreement also spurred the Fridays for the Future protests or others to act as they do today.

Do you think these groups are happy with the results from Egypt?

I believe that Fridays for the Future – which is, in fact, a global movement, not a European or a German one – will decide with the same poise as the international community now that the results represent a major advance for global climate policy at least in an important part. It is a question of how to deal fairly with the structural change, climate damage and losses that are unfortunately becoming inevitable. I would say that in a way this was a historical turning point, a crossroads for what was to come.

A climate-related damage fund has been approved, which is primarily intended to support poor countries. Is this enough to distribute the costs of climate change fairly?

What should happen is study the matter carefully and listen to the science. And there is a science of loss and damage – as we’ve seen, for example, in reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in recent years. Otherwise, of course, it’s all about the money—ultimately giving money. However, we also know that there is always a problem that there is not enough money in public climate finance – that is, for climate protection and adaptation. There are no easy solutions to this, and science can’t help either. But I am afraid we will get a fund that does not initially meet the expectations of many in developing countries.

Thank you for this interview!

This text is an abridged and modified version. Interviewed by Martin Krause for Antin of Brandenburg.

Broadcast: Antin Brandenburg, November 22, 2022, 8:30 a.m.

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