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Director General Müller at 10th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue: solutions to accelerate a just global energy transition

28 March 2024


Berlin, 19 March, 2024 – The 10th Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue (BETD), held at the German Federal Foreign Office on 19-20 March, has established itself internationally as a central energy transition platform for dialogue between governments, business, and civil society worldwide. 

During the Dialogue, UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller underlined that energy is the basis of all development – from industry and agriculture, to education and health systems: “Investments in a global transition to clean energy for all is key to limiting global warming. However, only 15% of global renewable energy investment is currently being made in developing countries and only 2% in Africa, where demand is highest. Industrialized countries need to invest the promised 0.7% of GNP in development - with a special focus on green industrial development.”

At the BETD high-level panel on “How to Make Industry Policy Green and Sustainable?”, Müller stressed that global green industry very much depends on critical minerals for which demand is already heavily increasing, yet resource-rich countries in the Global South are currently benefiting only little from that demand, and in many mines minimum social and ecological standards are lacking. Accordingly, Müller introduced UNIDO’s recently launched Alliance for Responsible and Green Minerals, which promotes more local value addition, decent working-conditions and sustainable mining practices. He emphasized that a global energy transition will only succeed with a fair sharing of revenues between the industrialized and the developing countries. It was agreed among the panelists that economic growth must urgently be decoupled from greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in the steel, cement and chemical industries – key sectors of UNIDO’s work for example via the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative. 

UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller with Robert Habeck, German Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (from left to right)

In a brief talk with Robert Habeck, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), on the margins of the event, Müller expressed gratitude for Germany’s commitment to provide €23 million in seed funding for two joint initiatives between UNIDO and the BMWK, which were signed at COP28. The Partnership for Net Zero Industry and the Global Matchmaking Platform are both part of the new Climate Club and will enable more developing countries to transform their heavy industries to climate neutrality by 2050. 

On the eve of the BETD, Director General Müller, together with the Sub-Sahara Initiative of German Business (SAFRI), invited CEOs, Members of Parliament and business associations to a high-level expert discussion on how investments in developing countries could be significantly increased. The event was  organized by ITPO Germany-Berlin.

Isingizwe Honorine, Young Volunteers for the Environment Rwanda; UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller; and Abijuru Delphine, Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (from left right). Photo credit: Photothek.

In addition to the UNIDO Director General’s own engagements with other high-level partners, stakeholders and representatives from  civil society and sciences, such as the young volunteers for environment from Africa, UNIDO delegates were involved in many different activities at the BETD. Rana Ghoneim, Chief of the Energy Systems and Industrial Decarbonization Unit spoke on “Global Momentum - The Climate Club's Path to Sustainable Industry” and presented UNIDOs activities in the Climate Club at the Forum for Energy and Climate Partnerships, organized by the BMWK. Petra Schwager, Chief of the Climate and Technology Partnerships Division spoke at a side event at the South African Embassy in Berlin on “Catalysts of Change: Clean Hydrogen Clusters in Developing Economies", presenting UNIDO’s newest publication on Green Hydrogen Industrial Clusters Guidelines.

Photo credit: Photothek.
Rana Ghoneim, UNIDO Chief of the Energy Systems and Industrial Decarbonization Unit. Photo credit: Photothek.
Auma Obama, executive chairwoman of the Sauti Kuu Foundation and UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller (from left to right).
Nurzat Myrsaliev, UNIDO; UNIDO Director General Gerd Müller; Rana Ghoneim, UNIDO; and Olaf Deutschbein, UNIDO (from left to right).

Furthermore, UNIDO presented itself with a stand at the BETD, organized by the UNIDO ITPO Germany-Berlin, to the many representatives of the public and private sector and engaged with partners and stakeholders in a variety of fruitful discussions.