Ladies and Gentlemen,
When you set out to sea you have to know how to tie knots. Figures of eight, bowlines, slip knots, round turns – for centuries, sailors all around the world have learned how to join different kinds of ropes and how to moor boats and ships safely to cleats and bollards. At sea, knots are of great importance. They need to be strong, but they must also be easy to untie and anyone who works on a ship or likes to go sailing needs to “know the ropes”.
A reef knot has been chosen as the logo for the G20 summit in Hamburg. A reef knot joins two ropes of equal thickness by means of two half knots on top of each other. This knot is especially strong and stable – but only if it is absolutely symmetrical and the tractive force is applied evenly.
The reef knot as a symbol – this is a bold statement in a world so lacking in symmetry and harmony. But it is a fitting metaphor, for this is exactly our task: to create a better balance in the distribution of wealth and opportunities, in exercising political influence, in the consumption of natural resources and the creation of economic growth. Economic growth is still a very important issue if we are to master the challenges ahead.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For us, the people of Hamburg, the reef knot has very little to do with the popular notion of seafaring, but it is very symbolic of the tasks facing the G20. The inescapable reality is that the G20 must abide by the Paris Climate Agreement and take even more far reaching steps. And, of course, we must also work towards the USA joining us on this course again in the long term.
Particularly in the currently difficult situation, it is important that the various civil organisations maintain close global links. After its inception, the Foundations Platform became a vital international bridge between business and science, civil society and the G20 almost immediately. I am sure it will develop into a powerful force in achieving the climate protection goals that we have set.
I am delighted to welcome you all here in the Free Hanseatic City of Hamburg such a short time before the G20 summit. I am looking forward to meeting you again this afternoon, but for the time being I would like to wish everyone a very enjoyable lunch.
Welcome to Hamburg.
And thank you for your attention.