Interview with German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen
'China Doesn't Want to Lead, and the US Cannot'
German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen talks to SPIEGEL about the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit, why neither China nor the US can take the lead in the fight against global warming and Germany's role in the new world order.
SPIEGEL: Mr. Röttgen, Chancellor Angela Merkel says we shouldn't bad mouth the outcome of the world climate summit in Copenhagen. Please tell us, as a minister who is loyal to the chancellor, exactly what good came out of it.
Norbert Röttgen: First and foremost, the result is a great disappointment. But one should not overlook the fact that one thing has been achieved and secured: The goal of keeping global warming from rising by more than 2 degrees Celsius is included in the closing document and there is a stated desire to provide aid worth billions for sustainable development in developing nations. China has also agreed for the first time to allow its emissions cuts to be tracked. We agreed to this because it is better than doing nothing. We will now continue on this basis. The alternative would have been a total collapse of the climate protection process.