Bi-lateral relations, business, climate and other news from Germany and the Embassy
March 29, 2023 View online

Dear Readers,

This month was all about the climate: last week, Germany partook in the UN Water Conference in New York, where Minister of the Environment Steffi Lemke advocated for a Water Action Agenda. A few days prior, Germany’s cabinet agreed on a national water strategy to help cope with dry seasons and heatwaves caused by climate change. The process involves setting up and protecting water reservoirs in forests, floodplains, towns and villages while also developing guidelines to regulate water distribution.

And today, German leaders are partaking in the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue along with leaders from over 90 countries. Foreign Minister Baerbock opened the 9th annual conference, stating that the “global energy transition has to pick up the pace in the interest of the climate and of prosperity.”  The conference aims to find ways to accelerate the shift toward green energy and away from fossil fuels. 

In other news, Germany has successfully delivered 18 Leopard 2A6 tanks to Ukraine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced on Monday. “As promised, our tanks arrived on time in the hands of our Ukrainian friends,” Defense Minister Boris Pistorius added. “I am sure that they will be able to make a decisive contribution at the front.”


The "Germany for Americans" team


For as long as it takes: Overview of Germany’s support for Ukraine

Germany provides substantial financial support – more than 14.2 billion euro to date – to people in Ukraine, and it stands firmly by their side, making available much more than just military equipment. Read on for more details about what Germany is doing to help.

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Further support for Ukraine – Foreign Minister Baerbock at the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels

Foreign Minister Baerbock met her EU colleagues in Brussels to discuss further support for Ukraine, including the supply of ammunition. Other topics on the agenda included the situation in Tunisia, Iran and Afghanistan.

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Berlin: “An attempt at nuclear intimidation”

The Federal Government has expressly criticized the stationing of tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus announced by Russia. The Federal Foreign Office in Berlin spoke of “yet another attempt at nuclear intimidation”.

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Germany and Japan deepen relations

Germany and Japan want to learn from each other and take joint action for the protection of critical infrastructure, the safeguarding of trade routes in a rules-based global order, and energy supply security. Federal Chancellor Scholz travelled to the first German-Japanese intergovernmental consultations along with six cabinet members, and a business delegation.

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Severe earthquakes in Turkey and Syria: Germany doubles aid

The earthquakes in the Turkish-Syrian border region are among the most severe natural disasters of the last 100 years. More than 52,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 injured. Germany is now doubling its earthquake assistance for Syria and Turkey.

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Germany strengthens water partnerships

Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke was optimistic at the conclusion of the United Nations Water Conference in New York:  “The foundations have been laid at this conference for a turnaround in global water policy. Numerous ambitious and far-reaching commitments were made in New York by the world’s nations, international organizations and many other actors, including those from civil society.”

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Protecting the world's oceans – an important success of Germany’s climate diplomacy

Effective provisions for protecting the high seas and therefore two-thirds of the oceans have been lacking to date. However, the UN member states have reached consensus on an agreement to improve the protection of the world’s oceans.

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Scholz: Europe must pull together

In German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s view, joint efforts are needed in Europe to drive forward key technologies of the future that will allow the climate targets to be achieved: “We must succeed in rapidly ramping up all industrial sectors that are crucial for climate neutrality and the green transformation.”

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A prize for courage

The 2021 Franco-German Prize for Human Rights was awarded to Chang Weiping last week, a lawyer currently detained in China. In an award ceremony hosted by German Ambassador Emily Haber and French Ambassador Laurent Bili, Weiping’s wife, Chen Zijuan, received the prize on her husband’s behalf. Weiping was honored for his fight against discrimination against people with HIV, women and the LGBTQI+ community. Ambassador Haber said that she is “humbled by his courage, and that of his wife.”

This prize is awarded annually to 15 men and woman who have shown engagement and courage in working for human rights and the rule of law in their home countries. Prizewinners are at the helm of non-governmental organizations: “they are lawyers, journalists of activities who defend the inalienable rights of each and every human being. They stand up for those whose voices would often not be heard without their important work,” the German Foreign Office states.


10 German names to call your pet

How does one choose a name for a flurry best friend? Here are some of the most popular pet names in Germany.

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