HANNOVER (dpa-AFX) – Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called on people not to lose sight of other global challenges such as climate change despite the Corona crisis. “With a relapse into national navel gazing, we will not win the fight against the pandemic, because this virus does not stop at borders – just like climate change,” Steinmeier said on Sunday in a video message at the awarding of the German Environment Prize in Hanover.
Steinmeier emphasized that the petty search of some countries for their national advantage and the hesitant implementation of the Paris climate agreement were a cause for concern. Climate change is not taking a break, not even in the pandemic.
“Here in Germany we once again experienced a summer that was too dry, and the consequences cannot be overlooked in many places.” The soil has often dried out, the forests badly damaged, and the water table in some places has fallen alarmingly. The situation is serious. “That is why Corona must not be an argument for restraint or lethargy,” said Steinmeier.
The Federal President actually wanted to personally award the environmental prize on Sunday, but he is currently in quarantine due to the corona infection of a person prosecutor and was only switched on via video message.
The economist Ottmar Edenhofer from Potsdam and the entrepreneur-siblings Trappmann from Limburg were honored with the highly endowed award in Hanover. They share the prize endowed with 500,000 euros. An honorary prize of 10,000 euros went to the entomologist Martin Sorg from Krefeld.
Steinmeier praised the economist Edenhofer, who has been director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) since 2018, as a “lateral thinker in the best sense” who advises the Pope as well as the World Bank and the federal government. Edenhofer received the award, among other things, for his proposal for CO2 pricing, with which he made a significant contribution to the agreement of the federal government on a climate package. “Without people like you, the Paris climate agreement and the German climate package would not have existed,” said Steinmeier.
The Trappmann siblings from Limburg, Hesse, were honored as heads of a sheet metal factory for the particularly economical use of energy and resources in their company. With his work, the entomologist Sorg pointed to the rapid extinction of flying insects.
The Secretary General of the German Federal Environment Foundation, Alexander Bonde, said that resource conservation will be a key issue for future generations. “We have to think more in terms of cycles – from a circular economy that goes far beyond a circular economy focused solely on waste recycling, to a circular society.” / Sto / DP / he