Combining Europe’s recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic with ambitious and effective polices to protect the environment is one of the central goals of Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. Four months after Germany began its Presidency, the German Federal Foreign Office, together with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Deutsche Klima-Konsortium (DKK), hosted a virtual event, in which participants from the areas of politics, diplomacy, business and civil society were briefed on current climate-related measures and what the EU can still achieve.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze opened the event – titled “Green Recovery – Emerging stronger from the crisis” – with a mid-term review climate policy initiatives during Germany’s Council Presidency.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

The fight against climate change must be conducted just as intensively as the search for a vaccine against COVID-19. The EU must be a role model here – and as the current EU Presidency, Germany is doing its best to ensure this. We want the European Council to commit clearly to a more ambitious EU climate target for 2030. We are going to restructure the EU budget, with 30 percent of EU expenditure allocated to climate change mitigation in the next seven years. We are also lobbying our partners around the world to support ‘green recovery’.

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze:

We must look beyond today's problems and give thought to the time after the coronavirus as well. Future generations need to be able to live well too – in a country, and a Europe, that is fair and economically robust. That is why I am very pleased that the German government is using the state economic recovery support related to the coronavirus situation to accelerate the transition to a climate-neutral future.

Under normal circumstances, the annual UN Climate Change Conference would directly follow this yearly event; however, this year’s conference in Glasgow, United Kingdom, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the format of the event was adjusted to focus on Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU, with panel discussions on how to advance sustainability in Europe, and how to keep up momentum ahead of the rescheduled UN Climate Change Conference in November 2021.

You can find more information on the event at the link below: