Last month, President Xi Jinping pledged that China would become carbon neutral by 2060. This announcement could be a tipping point in the global fight against climate change. It will accompany European efforts in the field of climate diplomacy.
It's a hard time, and everyone's feeling it in different ways. And I know a lot of folks are reluctant to tune into a political convention right now or to politics in general. Believe me, I get that. But I am here tonight because I love this country with all my heart, and it pains me to see so many people hurting.I've met so many of you. I've heard your stories. And through you, I have seen this country's promise. And thanks to so many who came before me, thanks to their toil and sweat and blood, I've been able to live that promise myself.
China is preparing for a leading role in the future world economic order. A closer look, therefore, at the Belt and Road Initiative and China’s new institutions and platforms for geo-economic influence can help to understand – and manage – the risks ahead.
The coronavirus crisis is creating a more competitive global environment, with confrontation growing faster than cooperation. As EU, we face rougher seas and risk getting caught in the cross-currents of major powers telling us to “pick a side”.Things that were treated as technical and not ‘high politics’, such as investment and trade, technologies and currencies, are now part of open competition or even confrontation. Things that you could rely upon as solid, such as facts and science, are now being challenged and part of a battle of narratives, amplified through social media.
At various times in Europe’s history, Germany has played a crucial role in helping us to overcome various crises. For instance, I remember vividly how a previous German EU Presidency, back in 2007 – I was then President of the European Parliament – helped Europe to find a political agreement on how to move forward, after the rejection of the Constitution in the French and Dutch referendums. The result is called the Lisbon treaty, but Germany played a big role in it.
Whenever I catch sight of myself wearing a mask as I walk through the deserted streets of Brussels or the empty corridors of the Commission, I cannot help but be overcome by a feeling of shock. Especially since, no matter where you go and no matter where you are, this sense of shock is palpable.