Aachen. Germany's Head of State Horst Köhler demanded that the international community of states reaches a favourable outcome concerning the Kyoto succession protocol at the upcoming Climate Change Conference in Bali in December. He considered the campaign against global carbon dioxide emissions to be above all the duty of developed countries. As the main source of man-made climate change, they must explicitly contribute to its combat. However, it is just as important to uncouple economic growth from the emissions in emerging markets. Köhler, at the occasion of the German Environmental Award in Aachen, released a statement saying: "Our affluent societies not only have an obligation, but also an interest in supporting poorer countries, so that they do not repeat our mistakes.”
Towards a levelling of CO2 emissions per capita
The threat of climate change clearly shows that there is “no sensible alternative to global political cooperation”. Köhler praised the proposal of Germany’s head of government, Angela Merkel, as “a way to success”. This proposition favours the levelling in the long-term of carbon dioxide emissions per capita, between industrialized countries and emerging markets. Köhler: "Every human being on earth has as a matter of principle a right to an equal, if restricted, volume of CO2 emissions; and must have the chance of development and the possibility of a life free from misery and poverty. The process of climate change demonstrates very clearly that the nations of the world depend on one another. Now, I can see that there is a vital opportunity for the international community to also be a place of learning and responsibility.”
German Environmental Award presented today
Köhler’s demands came at the awarding of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt prize; worth € 500,000 this is the best-funded environmental award in Europe. It has been presented jointly to the Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Professor Dr. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber; the founder of the German company Konvekta, Carl H. Schmitt, and his long-time product development manager and present-day director of the Institute for Thermodynamics of the Technical University (TU) Brunswick, Professor Dr. Jürgen Köhler; as well as to the former Lord Mayor of Heidelberg, Beate Weber.