Energy leaders of Europe’s two biggest economies have pledged to share knowledge on expanding renewable power and pushing harder to strip carbon from factories and industrial processes.
A partnership was signed today between Green Party MP Robert Habeck, Germany’s vice-chancellor & climate action & economy minister, pictured, and Clare Coutinho, the Conservatives’ recently appointed energy security secretary.
Achieving Net Zero by mid-century & delivering a socially just transition to carbon-free energy are the goals of the Anglo-German troth-plighting, objectives which many of Ms Coutinho’s party members will find harder to swallow than her German counterpart.
Observing the 2015 Paris Accord’s objective of global temperatures rising this century no more than 1.5 degrees on pre-industrial levels is also targeted, a goal again likely to provoke Tory backwoodsmen.
Specifics of the understanding include:
- More co-operation, particularly in offshore wind & electricity interconnection, axing red tape & speeding roll-out of mixed-technology projects offshore
- Strengthen and promote regional and global energy security, including discussions on winter preparedness, security of infrastructure & supply chains
- Swapping expertise no decarbonising heat for buildings, industrial processes, energy efficiency and policies leading to Net Zero
- Share industry knowledge and expertise to improve the exploration of carbon capture, utilisation and storage, including the cross-border transport of CO2.
“The UK & Germany agree on the importance of clean, affordable energy”, British minister Coutinho declared. “We both recognise its crucial role in growing our economies and guaranteeing national and global energy security.
“We are already working together in the North Sea to deliver our world-leading offshore wind ambitions, as well as linking our countries with subsea electricity cables.
“Today’s agreement will see us extend and deepen our partnership to ensure we continue to lead Europe and the world in making the green transition.”
Habeck, Vice Chancellor in Olaf Scholz’ socialist, green & Free Democrat coalition, noted: “Germany and the UK face similar challenges. We have made good progress regarding the transition towards climate neutrality, but there is still a long path ahead of us”.
“Cooperation with reliable partners can help all partners to advance not only faster, but better”, said the Bundis-90/Green Party deputy.
Germany’s interest in offshore wind has long prompted its overtures to overseas energy partners. During Alex Salmond’s SNP premiership at Holyrood, Scotland’s first minister met David McAllister, energy minister under Angela Merkel’s right-of-centre coalition and son of a Scottish father, to ponder a ring of cables stabilising power flows between the North Sea’s coastal nations.