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Carole Dieschbourg became one of the youngest ministers in Europe when she stepped into office as Minister for the Environment for the world’s twentieth-smallest nation, Luxembourg, back in 2013. In 2018, she was re-elected for a second term and is since holding the title of Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development.
In the time since, she has been a key leader of the European Union in the UN’s 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) climate negotiations as Luxembourg then held the Presidency of the Council of the E.U., resulting in the pivotal Paris Agreement on climate change; guided the transformation of her country’s transportation and energy systems to become sustainable; and solidified Luxembourg’s standing as a global epicenter for sustainable finance in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.
Charming and calm with an office filled with plants, Minister Dieschbourg does not bat an eye at her record of batting above average. She was raised in the idyllic Luxembourgish countryside near the family’s watermill that is still in operation and later penned a book about the country’s environmental history and man’s role therein.
“By doing this research on the region and all the families there, you are very humbled, because you see what people achieved in very hard times,” she said in a 2019 interview with Landscape News. “You see how people reacted to crises.”
Regarding the COVID-19 crisis, her own reaction was eloquent and diligent – in fact, not so different from her continued swift action against climate change, which include keeping her country on track to meet its impressive 55 percent emissions reductions targets by 2030, as calculated from 2005, and collaborating ever closer with the country’s finance leaders on new initiatives to make sustainable finance a more robust and attractive global sector. Between 2021 and 2025, Luxembourg is committed to spend EUR 200 million in international climate finance to support climate mitigation and adaptation actions in developing countries, which comes in addition to its official development assistance (ODA).
“If we all agree on the urgency of a crisis, we are able to act boldly. We are able to change everything in a very short time.”