The G7 and G20 summits could act as "accelerators" of international climate ambitions, as Germany's incoming government pledges to take on a leading role in international climate policy during Germany's G7 presidency in 2022.
The parties forming Germany's prospective new government, in their coalition agreement presented on 24 November, pledged that Germany will use its G7 presidency to establish climate partnerships, along with an "international climate club" which would be open to all countries.
The parties — the Social Democrat SPD, the Greens and the pro-business FDP — pledged that the new government they will form will aim to strengthen multilateral co-operation "within the scope of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement".
The new government will also aim to extend German environmental, climate and energy co-operations. These co-operations would focus on boosting growth in renewable power capacity and its corresponding infrastructure, and on green hydrogen production, among other things, the coalition parties said.
The new government would also fulfil its commitment towards the $100bn climate finance pledge, potentially raising its commitment in the future.
Wilfried Rickels of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy said today that the coalition's push for a leading role in climate policy during Germany's G7 presidency "emphasises the necessarily international nature of climate policy".
Policy analyst Lisa Katharina Schmid of the federal environment ministry, which is led by caretaker environment minister Svenja Schulze of the SPD, said on 24 November that G7 and G20 venues offer the possibility of annual "check-ins" which will build up pressure to raise climate ambition.
Germany's federal environmental office UBA is hoping for the G7 and G20 summits to act as an "accelerator" for their members' climate ambitions in the period to 2030, UBA climate expert Juliane Berger said. A study commissioned by UBA which was presented this week, "Advancing multilateral cooperation on climate action", suggests using international venues such as G7 and G20 as "stepping stones".
Non-governmental organisation E3G's Berlin-based policy adviser Jennifer Tollmann pointed out the growing role that nationally determined contributions (NDCs) play at G7 and G20 summits. At the last G20 summit, which took place in Rome last month ahead of the UN Cop 26 climate conference in Glasgow, leaders of the club's countries agreed on reviewing their NDCs, among other climate-related pledges.
Deputy director general at the German federal environment ministry Norbert Gorissen stressed the importance of a "serious follow-up" on the many announcements made at Cop 26. This responsibility falls to the UK presidency of Cop 26, and on all other parties having initiated the announcements, but civil society, think-tanks and international organisations also have a role to play, Gorissen said.
International co-operation played a big role at Cop 26, Gorissen said, adding that "it must play an even stronger role afterwards". The growing role of international co-operation is reflected in the success at Cop 26 in reaching an agreement on the rules for Article 6 — covering international carbon markets — of the Paris climate agreement, Gorissen argued.
The new federal government, under caretaker finance minister Olaf Scholz of the SPD, is expected to be sworn in in the week of December 6, once party members give the green light to the coalition agreement.