G20 Summit in Hamburg

Climate facts as a basis for policy decisions

To mark the meeting of the heads of state of the world’s twenty leading industrial nations, German climate researchers have joined forces to present the facts of observable climate change. In a joint press conference, they present the essential facts relating to global change as a basis for policy decisions and put the scientific evidence in context.

Hamburg, 6th July 2017 – Sea-level rise will have an impact on coastal cities in G20 states. It endangers the living space of hundreds of millions of people. Buildings and infrastructures worth trillions of US dollars are directly at risk. Current emissions will cause vast coastlines to sink in the long term. Urgency calls for the sober handling of facts. Irreversible changes in climate processes are already evident in all regions of the world. It is essential that all states take joint mitigation measures at the global level to limit the impacts of climate change. To ensure continuous improvement of the basis for decisions, keeping up the momentum in the knowledge acquisition process, we need unconstrained science.

In light of the above, a joint initiative – including the German Climate Consortium (DKK) – presents the key facts on climate change.


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Prof. Mojib Latif, Chairman of the German Climate Consortium (DKK), said at the joint press conference on Thursday at the G20 Media Center in Hamburg: „As association of German climate research organisations we are vehemently opposed to public posts that could generate confusion and uncertainty in the population about the facts on climate change. Observed changes in the climate system cannot be explained without considering human activity, in particular the burning of coal, oil and gas.“

Dr Paul Becker, Vice-President of the German Meteorological Service (DWD), talked about the state of the climate in Germany: „Temperatures in Germany have increased by an average of 1.4 °C since 1881. Thus, Germany lies above the global trend of around 1 °C over the same period. In addition to the rise in mean temperature, however, other impacts of climate change are already apparent in many other areas. In Germany, these include changes in rainfall patterns featuring an increase in winter precipitation and the distribution of weather patterns.“

The President of the German Meteorological Society (DMG) Inge Niedek spoke about the progress and achievements of meteorological science: „Satellites are used for tracking dangerous storms, thus enabling authorities to warn the population in time. Global sea level and changes in polar ice-shields can be monitored with remote sensing technologies. High-resolution climate models yield scenarios of future states of the climate.“

On behalf of the host city, the Senator for Environment Jens Kerstan explained the role played by Hamburg and the contribution made by the city: „Hamburg is directly affected by climate change. We need to prepare for more heavy rainfall, more frequent storms and wetter winters – and for rising sea levels. We want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030, which is why we are working flat out on the transport transition, massively expanding bicycle traffic and bus and rail connections. Our heating transition involves heating systems in hundreds of thousands of households, with a departure from coal and the maximum use of renewable energy sources. At the same time, adaptation to climate change represents the second pillar of our climate policy: we are raising dykes, making sure that rainwater can seep into the ground properly, and planting climate-resilient trees in parks and at the roadside.“


The list of facts and the press conference are a joint initiative of




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