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German Min will not attend COP28: Reports

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Berlin: German Economy Minister Robert Habeck will not attend on December 4 the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai at the request of Chancellor Olaf Scholz due to the budgetary crisis in the country, German newspaper Bild reported on Sunday.

Scholz’s request is related to the need to continue negotiations on the draft budget for 2024, which have become more complicated due to the current budgetary crisis, the report added.

The Constitutional Court of Germany ruled earlier in the month that the move by the Social Democrats, the Greens and the Free Democrats — known as the “traffic light” coalition — to transfer unused pandemic-era loans to a climate fund would violate the debt brake rule, which is a constitutionally enshrined cap on new government borrowing. As a result, 60 billion euros ($65 billion) were wiped from the government’s spending plan for 2024. Last week, the German Finance Ministry said that the government approved the 2023 supplementary budget to fight the budgetary crisis that occurred in the country due to the court’s decision to cut 60 billion euros from the spending plan.

Germany’s climate transformation fund had 211 billion euros earmarked for the development of hydrogen and semiconductor technologies, insulation of buildings in order to save energy, and decarbonization of industry. Berlin planned to spend 58 billion euros from that fund, as well as 54 billion euros from the state budget on laying fiber optic lines and upgrading railways and road infrastructure.

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