Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
April 27, 2023 View online

Dear Readers,

In mid-April, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock made an inaugural visit to China, South Korea and Japan, which hosted the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. In a meeting with China’s Foreign Minister, Minister Baerbock received assurance that China will not send weapons to Russia. She also urged her counterpart to do more: “Frankly, I wonder why the Chinese positioning does not include calling on the aggressor Russia to stop the war,” she said.

Meanwhile, the recent crisis in Sudan led to the need for evacuations: as of April 26, German Armed Forces have evacuated over 700 people from Sudan, more than two-thirds of whom were friends and allies from other countries, including the US. "Solidarity counts most in a time of crisis," German Ambassador Emily Haber wrote on Twitter. The people of Sudan will also have Germany's support in their long-sought journey towards democracy.

And earlier this month, we reflected on an important anniversary: April 19 marked the 80th anniversary of the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto - the largest armed act of resistance by Jews against the Nazis in Europe. It reminds us of the horrors of the Nazis, and the courage of those who resisted.  German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier delivered an address at the central commemorative event marking the anniversary. "The most important lesson to be learned from our history is: Never again! Never again racist fanaticism, never again unbridled nationalism, never again a barbaric war of aggression. Never again - this is the basis of our shared Europe."

And lastly, the climate continued to be a major topic in Germany this month. The Federal Cabinet adopted a draft law called the Energy Efficiency Act, which sets targets of 2% total annual energy savings for the public sector. The new Building Energy Act will also address the climate; this legislation requires newly installed heating systems to be powered by at least 65% renewable energy sources, starting in 2024.


The "Germany for Americans" team


Visit to Asia: China, South Korea and the G7 meeting in Japan                                

Federal Foreign Minister Baerbock made an inaugural visit to China  and South Korea in mid-April. In addition, Japan, currently holding the G7 Presidency, hosted the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (16-18 April 2023). The G7 Ministers called on China to respect international law, to abstain from "coercion, intimidation, or the use of force."

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Bundeswehr rescues more than 700 people from Sudan

During its mission in Sudan, the Bundeswehr - the German military - has evacuated more than 700 people from the country. Among them were 197 Germans, a spokesperson said on Wednesday following the end of the planned German evacuation flights. 

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The EU must be capable of playing a geopolitical role

At his meeting with Portugal's Prime Minister Costa in Lisbon on Wednesday, Federal Chancellor Scholz committed to working together to strengthen the EU's geopolitical position and thus reduce Europe's dependence on other global powers. He also reiterated his continuing support for Ukraine – for as long as necessary.

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80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

On 19th April 1943, 80 years ago, the month-long Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began. It reminds us of the horrors of the Nazis, and the courage of those who resisted. At a commemorative event, German President Steinmeier acknowledged responsibility, and asked for forgiveness, an "infinitely precious gift."

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The public sector set to become a role model in energy efficiency

Public authorities, corporations, and data centers are obliged by the new Energy Efficiency Act to use less energy on the grounds that climate protection and the energy transition will only succeed if energy consumption in Germany is permanently reduced. The Federal Cabinet has now adopted the draft law that is the first clear legal framework for energy saving. Thereby, the public sector is to set an example since the law defines specific targets of 2% total annual energy savings for the public sector.

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Climate-friendly heating: new Building Energy Act

As of January 2024, as many newly installed heating systems as possible will be powered at least 65 percent by renewable energy sources. The legislation provides for generous transition periods and exemptions, substantial social compensation payments, and a comprehensive range of subsidies.

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Germany takes first step towards circular economy

According to German Ministry for Environment, the high demand for raw materials in a largely linear economy is one of the main causes of the climate crisis and the threat to biodiversity. In line with the plans of the European Union, the German government is therefore aiming to transition to a circular economy that uses resources sparingly.

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The German Embassy welcomes bees 

The German Embassy is proud to announce that it has thousands of new residents: this month, four beehives were installed on Embassy ground, a small initiative meant to help the local environment and bee population. About 80 percent of all flowering plants need to be pollinated by insects to fruit and most of this work is done by bees. Many bee species are threatened by extinction. The hives at the Embassy are located on a hill that’s far from walkways, but still visible from many of our offices! We look forward to our first jars of honey!


May 1st is coming up - a public holiday in Germany

May Day in Germany has competing visions, with some celebrating traditions regarding courtship and the arrival of spring, while others observe it as a revolutionary day for organized labor. May Day's origins date back to the Iron Age and have been influenced by Christianity and the Middle Ages. The maypole is a widespread feature of May Day, with many traditions revolving around it, such as young bachelors erecting birch trees in front of their girlfriends' homes. The night before May 1st is known as Saint Walpurgis Night, and it is observed with large bonfires meant to ward off witches. In Berlin's Kreuzberg district, the largest and most famous labor demonstration in Germany occurs, with tens of thousands of revellers and demonstrators alike.

Watch a video to learn more

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