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What comes to your mind when people talk about Dortmund or Pittsburgh? Steel, blast furnaces, beer, soccer or ice hockey? The team colors of Borussia Dortmund (black and yellow) or those of the Pittsburgh Penguins (black and gold), which take up the colors of the respective city arms? In terms of industrial policy, both cities have in common that they have successfully shaped the structural change from steel and heavy industry to science, cultural and creative industries, IT and financial services.
What is not as well known is that both cities have been working together on projects for several years. Since Dortmund has been maintaining a local political dialogue with Vancouver for some time (remember the visit of the Dortmund delegation to Vancouver in 2019), the idea of establishing a trilateral climate partnership between Dortmund, Pittsburgh and Vancouver was obvious. The framework for this could be provided by the « Transatlantic Climate Bridge », which the German government announced in 2008 in order to deepen the climate dialogue between Canada and the USA at all political levels. This climate partnership is now experiencing a breath of fresh air.
As far as the specific project is concerned, we are thinking of the common theme of « urban agriculture ». Since the corona crisis, we know « that the functionality of the food supply is also an important pillar of resilience for cities in western industrialized countries, » as it is worded in a concept paper. We also know that during the Covid pandemic, the demand for organic food has risen significantly and people are preparing their own meals at home more than ever before. A positive side effect for the German kitchen and household appliance manufacturers: 2020 was an absolute boom year - nationally and internationally. « There is a kitchen buying frenzy, » it was said in the industry, and there is talk of a 30-40% increase in sales.
We hope that we can take the first steps on the way to a transatlantic city triangle including Dortmund, Pittsburgh and Vancouver in the context of the UN World Climate Summit (November 1st - 12th) this autumn. We will keep you updated on the progress of this project in our newsletter.
Hubertus Liebrecht, our honorary consul in Calgary, will kindly take over the district of Alberta North and Northwest Territories until further notice. Filling the position of honorary consul in Edmonton will take some time, not least due to the pandemic. We ask for your understanding.
The rising Covid-19 numbers in Germany and Canada show that we still have to be very careful with our contacts. Still, I firmly believe that we will soon see the light at the end of the tunnel. Or to say it with Bruce Springsteen: « There’s better days shining through ».
I wish all readers a happy Easter.
Dr Klaus Schmidt
Consul General Dr. jur. Klaus Schmidt
Born November 27, 1956 in Würzburg
Married, two children
|1976 - 1981|
|1981||1st State Exam|
|1981 - 1984||Practical Training|
|1984||2nd State Exam|
|1991||PhD (Dr. jur. utriusque)|
|1985 - 2003|
Press and Information Office
Assignments and Entry to the Foreign Office
|1987 - 1988|
|1991 - 1995|
Head of Press and Information Department, Visa and Consular Section
|2003 - 2005|
Head of Division K 01
|2005 - 2008|
|2008 - 2011|
Head of Division 603 and 608
Head of Cultural Section
|2012 - 2015|
Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Economic Section
|2015 - 2018|
German Consulate General Chengdu, China