The German Chancellor on the World Economic Forum in Davos

He calls climate defense the “booster of our economies” and says he is “optimistic, which traditionally does not belong to the Germans.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was one of the most anticipated politicians at the World Economic Forum in Davos: Angela Merkel’s successor is taking its first diplomatic steps facing numerous crucial issues for international security, starting with the growing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. For this reason, the eyes are on Berlin, for the role that Germany plays in the world and because since January Scholz has become the rotating president of the G7. “The climate changes in every corner of the world – says the chancellor -, Germany wants to reach zero emissions by 2045, five years before the global target. For this reason, Germany is launching an international climate club, which brings together all those countries that really want to cooperate».

Energy transformation must be an opportunity for growth and no longer a problem, says the new German Chancellor. Therefore, climate agreements must start from those who want to act: “We no longer want to wait for the slowest and most unambitious country, but to set a good example and arrive before the others”. Scholz brings German pragmatism to the world forum table. He calls on the other G7 states (USA, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and Great Britain) and invites them to overcome the problem of competition and the high costs of energy conversion, identifying common minimum standards and working in harmony. “We want nothing less than a paradigm shift in international climate policy. Germany wants to play a leading role in this turning point,” he added. “We have set the sails, and we want a new start full of progress. By 2030, 80 percent of energy in Germany will come from renewable sources”. And again, “the climate crisis is a clear result of the culture of progress of the past”.

Beyond the climate alliance, however, Scholz did not shy away from the other delicate dossiers. Among the issues addressed is the strengthening of Europe (“Germany wants to push for a more compact Union”, but this intention will have to be verified by the facts, for example with the discussion over the next few months on public accounts). And of course there is the Ukrainian question. Scholz said he still does not know whether intense diplomatic contacts with Russia could mitigate the situation at the Ukrainian border, but he added that the borders must not be forcibly moved. “After years of growing tensions, silence is not a reasonable option,” said the chancellor, adding that the force of the law must be respected, and not the law of the strongest.

Finally, the appeal to the whole world to invest in vaccines and health infrastructure: “Without a truly global immunization campaign, we will soon run out of the letters of the Greek alphabet to name new virus variants”, warned the SPD politician. . Germany is the second donor of Covax, the campaign to bring vaccines to even the poorest countries. Scholz sets an ambitious goal: “We will achieve 70 percent vaccination of the global population by the middle of the year, only in this way will we have the pandemic behind us.”

Paulo Bentu

Non-Resident Fellow

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