Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock campaigned in Colombia for a closer partnership with the fourth-largest Latin American country in the energy and climate sectors. "Colombia has enormous potential to become a heavyweight in renewables and green hydrogen," said the Green politician on Thursday after a meeting with Colombian Vice President Francia Márquez in the city of Cali.
Baerbock also underlined common goals, for example in value- and order-oriented foreign policy, the condemnation of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine or the commitment to a feminist foreign policy. "Germany and Colombia also share a belief in our common values and international cooperation," said Baerbock. "We are united by the conviction that the world needs an order based on rules and international solidarity."
Baerbock also emphasized the similarities in feminist foreign policy. For example, in her year and a half as foreign minister, she had never sat opposite an all-female delegation like she did in Cali. "There can be no stable peace without the participation of women and marginalized groups," said Baerbock. "Without peace, there can be no climate protection. Without climate protection, there can be no adequate economic and sustainable development."
In connection with a possible closer cooperation in the raw materials sector, Baerbock said with regard to Colombia, "Countries that not only have raw materials that we urgently need for the energy transition or for other areas, but also share our values would be ideal here". The Colombian government of President Gustavo Petro wants to further expand renewable energies. Colombia is interested in the production, use and export of green hydrogen.
Márquez thanked Germany for its commitment to the peace negotiations in a country ravaged by decades of civil war. She praised the joint advocacy for equality. Márquez added that Colombia hopes that the planned joint energy transition agreement can be finalized as soon as possible.
Both Baerbock and Márquez underlined the importance of the planned phase-out of coal in both countries. The German phase-out of coal and the Colombian agenda with regard to fossil fuels fit together very well, said Baerbock. Colombia is one of Germany's priority countries for its international climate protection initiatives.
Human rights activist and environmentalist
In the evening, Baerbock presented Márquez with the prize for women's rights and democracy from the German-Latin American-Caribbean women's network "Unidas" (German: "United"). The 41-year-old is Colombia's first black woman vice president. She receives the award for her commitment to the rights of women and Afro-Colombians and the fight against illegal mining. The human rights activist and environmentalist fought against illegal gold prospectors. In 2018 she received the prestigious Goldman Prize for her commitment.
Baerbock said Márquez embodies the "fight for equality that we are fighting together" and is a role model for feminist foreign policy in Germany. The award winner gives millions of women a voice.