Germany hosts conference on deforestation-free supply chains and sustainable palm oil production

The German development (BMZ) and agriculture (BMEL) ministries co-hosted a conference on the link between consumption and deforestation: “Approaches for sustainable and deforestation-free supply chains – cross-learnings from palm oil, cocoa and soy”. Minister Schmidt (BMEL) emphasized that Germany will aim to reach 100% sustainable palm oil production. Similar achievements could be made in cocoa and soy production if public and private stakeholders exchange knowledge and cooperate on supply chain management.

This conference occurred in the context of Germany's leadership role in the Amsterdam Group. This group - comprised by Germany, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark - was consituted in December 2015 with the signing of the Amsterdam Declaration, which included the commitment to purchase 100% sustainable palm oil by the year 2020.

Press release - BMZ (in German)

Germany Agriculture

Chancellor Merkel receives policy recommendations from the civil society at C20 in Hamburg

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has received a catalogue of policy recommendations from leading civil society organizations (CDOs). The organizations, which met for the C20 Summit in Hamburg, hope that many of these recommendations will be included in the G20’s final communique. At the Summit, more than 300 CSOs discussed their position on topics ranging from environment and climate change to health, gender, and agriculture. Next to a clear commitment of the G20 to fight climate change, the organizations call for strong policies to regulate financial markets, tackle inequality, reform trade agreements, and increase development finance.

News article - Norddeutscher Rundfunk (in German)



Development assistance becomes subject of debate in German election campaign

Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to increase development spending if her party (Conservatives; CDU/CSU) wins the federal elections in September 2017. She stated that this decision has already been agreed upon with Finance Minister Schäuble. Merkel's comments come after Vice-Chancellor Gabriel (Social Democrats; SPD) claimed that Germany should spend more on development to at least match the recent increases in Germany’s defense budget. According to Gabriel, who is also Foreign Minister, the defense budget will increase by 14% in the midterm while the development budget will see a 2% increase in the same time. In further response to Merkel's announcement, Gabriel called for a significant increase in funding to crisis prevention and development, especially in Africa. For every additional Euro to the defense budget, Gabriel suggested Germany invest at least €1.50 in development cooperation.

News article - US News                                    

News article - Spiegel Online (in German)



France, Germany, and Italy issue statement on non-renegotiation of Paris climate accord

On June 1, 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni released a rare joint statement noting "with regret" the US' decision to pull out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. They reiterated that the pact cannot be ‘re-negotiated’, as per President Trump’s suggestion. The three leaders also highlighted the importance of the agreement as "a cornerstone in the cooperation between our countries, for effectively and timely tackling climate change”, called on allies to speed up their efforts to combat climate change, and said they would do more to help developing countries adapt.

News article - Reuters

France Germany Italy

Germany extends partnership for sustainable development with Africa

The German government and federal states (‘Länder’) have committed to extend their partnership for sustainable development with African countries. Development Minister Gerd Müller has emphasized that for an intensified cooperation with Africa it is critical that Germany leverage the know-how of its state and local governments in areas such as administration, sewage systems, sanitation, and social infrastructure. The Development Ministry supports federal states in their development cooperation: Currently, 11 are engaged in 170 projects with developing countries. With this agreement, Germany seeks to increase the number of these collaborations.

Press release - BMZ (in German)


Germany invests €4.6 billion in sustainability and climate protection in India

During the German-Indian government consultations this week, Development minister Gerd Müller announced his ministry's (BMZ) and the German government's plans to increase development cooperation with India in several areas including renewable energy, environmental policy, resource protection, sustainable urban policy, vocational training, and agriculture. Both parties signed agreements for program totaling an investment volume of €4.6 billion. 90% of this funding comes in form of loans. One flagship program will focus on sustainable urban development, especially through green mobility, modern sewage plants, and urban planning in various large Indian cities.

Press release - BMZ (in German)


German development ministry launches new initiatives for ocean protection

German development minister, Dr. Gerd Müller, has launched two new initiatives to reduce the degradation of oceans through pollution, overfishing, and climate change.

- The Blue Ocean Fund begins with €24 million and seeks to support NGOs working on ocean and coastal protection. Initial projects will focus on Africa, Latin America, and small island states.

- “Save our mangroves now” focuses on mangrove eco-systems, and is launched with an awareness-raising campaign in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

These initiatives follow a 10-point plan for ocean protection and sustainable fishery that Minister Müller presented in May 2016.

Press release - BMZ (in German)


German development bank announces financing record for 2016

KfW, Germany’s state-owned development bank, committed a record €8.8 billion in 2016 for financing projects in developing and emerging economies. This is a significant increase from €7.7 billion pledged in 2015.

66% of the €7.3 billion disbursed in 2016 was invested in climate and environmental protection."In light of global challenges such as climate change and the refugee crisis, development cooperation is gaining in importance," said Norbert Kloppenburg, member of the board of the KfW bank group. DEG, a bank subsidiary, invested €1.6 million in small and medium-sized businesses in developing countries in 2016, an increase of 46% compared to 2015.

News article - Handelsblatt (in German)


German health minister emphasizes importance of funding to WHO during WHA

During his visit to the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), German health minister, Hermann Gröhe, emphasized the importance of WHO for emergencies and disease outbreaks. Germany is a major supporter of the organization.

During his time in Geneva, Gröhe also attended a side-event of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), which Germany jointly hosted with Norway, and Rwanda, and spoke at the “Alliance of Champions”, a group of countries committed to develop national action plans to fight anti-microbial resistance (AMR).

Press release – BMG (in German)

Germany commits to supporting Vietnam with €160 million for vocational training and environmental issues

The German government has committed to support Vietnam with a total of €160 million for vocational training and environmental issues. A majority of this will come in the form of loans (€120 million). During a visit of Vietnamese representatives in Berlin, State Secretary for Development Hans-Joachim Fuchtel emphasized that vocational training is key for successful economic development. The partners agreed to exert a special effort to create jobs in the environmental sector. Parts of the funding will also be provided to coastal and water quality protection projects.

Press release – BMZ (in German)