69 German enterprises call for an implementation programme for climate neutrality

As the detailed exploratory talks on the formation of the new German government begin, a broad alliance of German businesses from all key sectors of the economy is calling for an ambitious, cross-sector climate policy fit for the purpose of reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

With their appeal, 69 businesses – including many large enterprises – call upon the parties involved in the negotiations to put Germany on a clear and reliable path to climate neutrality. They call upon the new German government to launch an implementation programme for climate neutrality within its first 100 days. In doing so, the German private sector is sending a clear signal for ambitious climate action during the new legislative period.  

‘Climate protection was the decisive topic in the federal election and the parties must place it at the top of their agenda in building the new federal government,’ said Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, president of Foundation 2º, businessman, and chairman of the board of the Otto Group. ‘The decade for taking climate action has begun. The new federal government must now set the framework so that we as businesspeople can make climate neutrality a trademark of the German private sector,’ Otto continued.  

The businesses involved include prominent representatives of all relevant sectors and key industries, including the raw materials and chemicals industries, machine and automobile manufacturers, the financial industry, and large enterprises from the buildings, mobility, and trade sectors. Taken together, they employ more than one million people in Germany and over five million people worldwide and represent a global turnover of around one trillion Euro.  

Following the holistic approach of the European Commission’s Green Deal, the enterprises’ appeal includes a call for the implementation programme to contain a package of concrete measures so that the goal of climate neutrality can be reached with certainty by 2045. The transformation to climate neutrality necessitates an accelerated expansion of important technologies and infrastructures. This particularly applies to the expansion of renewable energies and the electricity grid needed to do so, as well as to climate-friendly industrial facilities and transport infrastructure and to building refurbishments for increased energy efficiency.   

‘“Making climate neutrality work” should become the motto of the new legislative period. The new government must take courageous and determined climate policy action and can build upon the support of this broad business alliance in doing so,’ said Sabine Nallinger, managing director of Foundation 2º. ‘It is now a matter of making an implementation programme for climate neutrality a central pillar of the coalition talks and new government. Just weeks before COP26 in Glasgow and before the important decisions to be taken on the “Fit for 55” package of the EU, these businesses are sending an important signal to the European and international community with this appeal,’ Nallinger continued.  

PARTICIPATING ENTERPRISES

Am Unternehmensappell 2021 beteiligte Unternehmen

SELECTION OF STATEMENTS FROM PARTICIPATING ENTERPRISES 

“Together with many other major German companies, the Otto Group is advocating for a new German government to place climate protection at the center of its work. An implementation campaign for climate neutrality can provide the planning and investment security that companies need to make climate protection an economic success model.” 
Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group  

“The German economy bears great responsibility when it comes to the sustainable transformation of the country. The construction industry in particular, which is one of the most emissions- and resource-intensive sectors of the economy, has the potential to make an active contribution to achieving climate protection targets worldwide. To ensure that this potential can be effectively exploited, rapid and, above all, targeted support is now needed from the new government to achieve the necessary turnaround in climate policy and introduce effective measures.” 
Andreas Engelhardt, Managing Partner with Unlimited Liability, Schüco International KG  

“Clear perspectives instead of cloudy visions – now! A huge transformation needs a reliable framework. For example for sufficient renewable energy at competitive costs.” 
Kristian Evers, Managing Partner, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG   

“Germany faces enormous challenges to become the world’s first climate-neutral industrialized country by 2045, while remaining competitive at the same time. However, sustainable climate protection can only work in this way and serve as a model for other regions of the world.”  
Roland Harings, CEO, Aurubis AG  

“The business appeal expresses the basic consensus in the business community to expect and accept fast, clear and effective steps from policymakers to achieve the 1.5 degree target.” 
Thomas Jorberg, Spokesman of the Board, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG  

“It is well known that climate policy must be a focus of the next federal government. The necessities and also the problems are all known. Clear priority must now be given quite practically to a binding and consistent implementation agenda.”
Dr. Frank Mastiaux, Chief Executive Officer, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG  

“Rossmann can only become climate neutral if our suppliers follow in the same wake. But that will only be possible if the national and international energy mix will be radically decarbonized.”  
Raoul Roßmann, Managing Director, Dirk Rossmann GmbH  

“Climate protection is the greatest challenge of our time. Business enterprises need a clear political framework, and this now requires decisive action by the new federal government. We see climate-friendly business practices as both our responsibility as well as an opportunity to align our business model for the future.” 
Olaf Schabirosky, Chief Executive Officer, Hermes Germany GmbH  

“Major financial institutions are working with businesses to help implement the 1.5-degree target. If policymakers create more effective incentives and framework conditions for climate-friendly business and action, large parts of the economy can change and evolve more quickly. This can make achieving the 2045 climate target possible.”  
Dr. Günther Thallinger, Member of the Board, Allianz SE  

“We have ambitious climate targets and are upscaling necessary technologies, but without courageous and rapid policy support, the transformation cannot succeed.”  
Dr. Dominik von Achten, Chairman of the Managing Board, HeidelbergCement AG  

“The next four years are crucial for creating reliable framework conditions for achieving the climate targets. In the transport sector in particular, there is massive untapped climate protection potential that can only be leveraged by consistently strengthening rail freight.” 
Sven Wellbrock, Chief Operating Officer Europe & Chief Safety Officer, VTG AG  

“While there is widespread consensus on the importance of climate change, implementing climate action remains a major challenge. To finally get us to act, the next federal government needs to unleash innovation and remove hurdles with pragmatism.”  
Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE  

*** 

ABOUT FOUNDATION 2° 

Foundation 2° is an initiative of chief executives, business leaders, and family-owned companies. Its goal is to call upon politicians to establish effective market-based frameworks for climate action and to support the problem-solving competence of German companies. The foundation is named for its most important goal: to keep average global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius. The foundation’s supporters are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, Allianz SE, Aurubis AG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Post DHL Group, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL GmbH & Co. KG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, DRÄXLMAIER Group, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Unternehmensgruppe Gegenbauer, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, HeidelbergCement AG, INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH/ALBA Services Holding GmbH, Lanxess AG, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Union Asset Management Holding AG, VTG Aktiengesellschaft, Wacker Chemie AG. 

MEDIA CONTACT 

Dr. Mikiya Heise, Senior Communications Advisor 
Telephone: +49 (0) 163 8827595
E-Mail: mikiya.heise@2grad.org  

 

Four days prior to decisive national election: German companies commit to a 1.5° pathway to climate neutrality

At the New York Climate Week eleven top of class companies from major German industries announce their participation in the UN initiative for climate neutrality: Race To Zero.

Just before the much-anticipated national election, German companies are sending a bold signal of climate action to international investors. By joining the UN Initiative Race To Zero, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Schüco International KG, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Wacker Chemie AG and Union Investment– all member companies of Stiftung 2° – are voluntarily committing to a 1.5° pathway to climate neutrality. These companies are joining a group of frontrunners of Stiftung 2° which just recently had announced their participation in the Race to Zero: Allianz SE, Aurubis AG, Deutsche Telekom AG, HeidelbergCement, Otto Group and PUMA.

“It is important that major companies from key industries lead the way towards climate neutrality. We are proud that eleven of our member companies are now participating in this important UN initiative,” says Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Stiftung 2°. “Together with the next German government, our companies want to make climate neutrality made-in-Germany a reality, a seal of quality and international competitiveness.” The announcement took place at the event “Climate Neutrality made in Germany – Making decarbonization work for all sectors”, which was organized by Stiftung 2° and Brunswick Group at the New York Climate Week.

The companies from key sectors such as digitization, financial service providers / insurance, fashion / sports, transport / logistics, but also energy-intensive sectors such as cement, chemicals, and steel voluntarily commit to develop and implement targets in line with 1.5 ° pathways of the Sciences Based Target Initiative (SBTi) and continuously report about progress.

Four days prior to the German national elections, two months prior to COP26 and ahead of next year’s German G7 Presidency, the voluntary self-commitment of these companies was expressly praised by the political participants of the event. “I am delighted to welcome these German companies into the critical Race to Zero and applaud them for showing how even energy-intensive sectors such as chemicals, steel and cement are rapidly taking action to deliver a 1.5° world. In doing so, companies across the real economy are making a very important contribution to the success of COP26 and our collective efforts to deliver the promise of the Paris Agreement”, says Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Champion.

German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze welcomed the companies‘ commitments in a video message. It would pay off to tackle the challenge of climate neutrality early and decisively, it would make companies more competitive and more crisis-proof. It would be the task of politics to create the right incentives for this and to minimize risks, the Minister said.

 

STATEMENTS

Dr. Dominik von Achten, CEO, HeidelbergCement: „We set ourselves ambitious climate protection goals and are doing everything we can to achieve them. With projects such as our CCS project in Brevik, Norway, we pioneer worldwide the scale-up and implementation of low carbon breakthrough technologies. By joining the UN initiative for climate neutrality, we want to emphasize our commitment. Now, we need rapid and decisive political action to create the right framework conditions, especially in the area of CO2 infrastructure and market incentives for low-emission building materials.”

Alexander Birken, CEO, Otto Group: “The Otto Group has set itself the goal of becoming climate neutral within its own business operations by 2030. In parallel, we are working on approaches and measures to become even more effective along our entire value chain and achieve the 1.5 °C target. Here, our focus is particularly on emissions in the upstream supply chain, where we want to achieve far-reaching and measurable improvements together with our partners. Politics also has a responsibility for this joint task, so that long-term programs can be set up with funding to support awareness-raising and the implementation of measures in supplier markets.”

Andreas Engelhardt, Managing Partner with Unlimited Liability, Schüco International KG: “Worldwide the building stock plays a key role in achieving climate targets. 80 % of buildings are, in some cases, considerably below the energetically required level. By joining the UN initiative for climate neutrality, we want to clearly promote the sustainable modernization of existing buildings.”

Bjorn Gulden, CEO, PUMA: “As co-founder of the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, PUMA has been involved in the UN initiative for Climate Neutrality from the very beginning.  Together with our partners we want to reduce our emissions along the value chain by at least 60 percent relative to sales by 2030. For PUMA’s own entities, we are moving to 100% renewable electricity. The long-term goal is to be climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest.”

Roland Harings, CEO, Aurubis AG: „We have great confidence in our innovative strength and we can achieve climate neutrality well before 2050. That is why we were one of the first companies to join the UN initiative for climate neutrality. However, what we need now is: sufficient availability of green electricity at competitive prices, as well as reliable political framework conditions.”

Dr. Christian Hartel, CEO, Wacker Chemie AG: „As one of the first chemical companies worldwide, we are today joining the UN initiative on climate neutrality. The transformation in our sector needs international cooperation. Only with large quantities of renewable electricity at internationally competitive prices can the energy-intensive industry successfully move towards climate neutrality.”

Dr. Arnd Köfler, CTO, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG: “We are proud to take part in the Race to Zero campaign and ready to decarbonise our steel production by 2050 at the latest. This requires a massive transformation and multibillion Euro investments by both industry and governments in scaling new technologies and infrastructure. The EU Fit-for 55 package must contribute to unlock investments in decarbonisation. But we cannot build a fence around Europe, it is therefore key that we get internationally harmonized climate policies to collectively decarbonise value chains and ensure fair competition.”

Melanie Kreis, Chief Financial Officer, Deutsche Post DHL Group: “We are convinced that limiting global warming to 1.5°C is crucial for our planet. The decisive factor is how we jointly shape the transition to a climate-neutral world. As a logistics company, we are rising to this challenge and investing 7 billion Euros in sustainable and future-proof transport solutions by 2030.”

Dr. Günther Thallinger, Member of the Board of Management, Allianz SE: “As a founding member of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance, Allianz has been supporting the shift to a climate-neutral global economy since 2019. We are consistently implementing the 1.5°C degree target in our core business and accordingly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our investment and insurance portfolios to net zero by 2050 at the latest via ambitious interim targets.”

Hans Joachim Reinke, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Union Investment: “We want to achieve sustainability through a credible transformation. For us as an active investor, this means supporting companies that reliably pursue ambitious goals into a sustainable future. In this way, we will make our portfolios CO2 neutral by 2050.”

 

ABOUT UN RACE TO ZERO

Race to Zero (R2Z) is a global UN initiative where companies (but also cities, regions and investors) take the lead and the responsibility to get on a pathway to climate neutrality. It is led by the High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action Nigel Topping and Gonzalo Muñoz.

To participate in the Race to Zero, companies voluntarily commit to

  • achieve climate neutrality as soon as possible, and by 2050 at the latest
  • set an interim target for 2030 in line with a science-based 1.5° target
  • explain what actions will be taken toward achieving both interim and longer-term pledges within 12 months of joining
  • report publicly both progress against interim and long-term targets, as well as the actions being taken, at least annually.

There are several ways to formally join the UN Race to Zero. The most common of which is joining through the campaign “Business Ambition for 1.5°C° that is supported by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi).

Stiftung 2° and Brunswick Group support companies with the participation and implementation procedures.

So far, more than 1300 companies, 450 cities, 74 investors, 23 regions and 560 universities participate in the Race to Zero campaign. Together with the 120 countries of the Climate Ambition Alliance, these actors account for 25 % of the global CO2-emissions and for more than 50 % of the GDP. It is the biggest climate alliance in history.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

Race to Zero
Science Based Targets Initiative 
Link zur Veranstaltung

 

ABOUT STIFTUNG 2°

Stiftung 2° is an initiative of chairmen, managing directors and family entrepreneurs. Its aim is to call on politicians to establish effective market-based conditions for climate protection and to support the problem-solving skills of German companies. The foundation is named after its most important goal: to limit average global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, Allianz SE, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Post DHL Group, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL GmbH & Co. KG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, DRÄXLMAIER Group, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Unternehmensgruppe Gegenbauer, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, HeidelbergCement AG, INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH/ALBA Services Holding GmbH, Lanxess AG, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Union Asset Management Holding AG, VTG Aktiengesellschaft and Wacker Chemie AG.

 

ABOUT BRUNSWICK GROUP

Brunswick is a strategic advisory firm focused on critical issues and critical stakeholders. Our purpose is to help our clients play their role in the world successfully. We advise on critical issues and critical stakeholders at the center of business, politics and society, and help our clients – the leaders of large, complex organizations – understand and navigate these interconnected worlds. Brunswick is one firm globally, operating as a single profit center. This allows us to respond seamlessly and effectively to clients’ needs wherever they are in the world. Brunswick has a presence in Germany since 2001 with offices in Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. For more information, visit: www.brunswickgroup.com.

 

STIFTUNG 2° CONTACT FOR UN RACE TO ZERO

Till Kötter, Senior Advisor, European and International Affairs
Telefon: +49 (0)30 2045 4458
E-Mail: till.koetter@2grad.org

 

PRESS CONTACT

Dr. Mikiya Heise, Senior Advisor, Communication & Public Affairs
Telefon: +49 (0) 163 8827595
E-Mail: mikiya.heise@2grad.org

LANXESS and WACKER support Stiftung 2°

Lanxess AG and Wacker Chemie AG announced today they have become supporting businesses of Stiftung 2°. As the first representatives of the chemical industry to join Stiftung 2°, the companies send a clear signal that they are committed to corporate climate protection.

“We now have the chemical industry on board, too. I am delighted to welcome two dedicated chemical companies, WACKER and LANXESS, as new members of our corporate climate protection alliance,” said Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Stiftung 2°. “The chemical industry is a solution industry forging ahead toward carbon neutrality. Without chemistry, there would be no LEDs, no electric cars, solar modules, or wind turbines. And the upcoming connectivity of the energy transition and digitization in future also depends on chemistry-based innovations,” noted Nallinger.

“Climate protection is a business case for LANXESS. It underscores our plan to be carbon neutral by 2040. However, in order to maintain the entrepreneurial advantages of sustainable management, the political framework conditions must be right. We are firmly convinced that our many years of experience in reducing greenhouse gases will be beneficial to Stiftung 2°. Germany has the potential to go ahead with the transition into a carbon neutral future and we want to help,” said Matthias Zachert, Chairman of the Management Board & CEO of LANXESS. To achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, LANXESS has implemented projects to reduce its emissions around the world. The most recent of these was eliminating laughing gas emissions at a site in Antwerp. The company’s climate footprint has also become one of its key performance indicators for investments in plants, acquisitions, or compensation of top management.

“There are two decisive levers for chemistry’s path to carbon neutrality: Transitioning from today’s fossil-based industrial production to processes powered by green energy, and taking a value-adding, emission-reducing approach to the ‘waste product’ CO2,” said Christian Hartel, President & CEO of WACKER. “We are facing this challenge head on and have already electrified over 60 percent of our production processes. In the second step, WACKER needs large amounts of renewable electricity at internationally competitive prices. On the one hand, we are reducing the CO2 footprint in production and, on the other, making projects economically feasible with innovative, low-greenhouse-gas hydrogen projects such as RHYME Bavaria,” added Hartel. “What’s needed now is swift cooperation from politicians, business and society. Stiftung 2° will be an important bridge-builder in this regard.” With RHYME Bavaria, WACKER is pursuing its goal of making a vital contribution toward markedly reducing fossil raw materials in chemical processes and products by producing green hydrogen for industrial use.

The partners all agree: A forward-looking energy and climate policy framework is a prerequisite for German industry to remain competitive. In collaboration with 17 industrial companies – including WACKER and LANXESS – Stiftung 2°, Agora Energiewende and Roland Berger have compiled twelve recommendations for action by politicians.

FURTHER INFORMATION


ABOUT STIFTUNG 2°

Stiftung 2° is an initiative of chairmen, managing directors and family entrepreneurs. Its aim is to call on politicians to establish effective market-based conditions for climate protection and to support the problem-solving skills of German companies. The foundation is named after its most important goal: to limit average global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, Allianz SE, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, Deutsche Post DHL Group, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL GmbH & Co. KG, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, DRÄXLMAIER Group, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Unternehmensgruppe Gegenbauer, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, HeidelbergCement AG, INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH/ALBA Services Holding GmbH, Lanxess AG, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG, Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG, Union Asset Management Holding AG, VTG Aktiengesellschaft and Wacker Chemie AG.

ABOUT LANXESS

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of € 6.1 billion in 2020. The company currently has about 14,200 employees in 33 countries. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. LANXESS is listed in the leading sustainability indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI World and Europe) and FTSE4Good.

ABOUT WACKER

WACKER is a globally active chemical company headquartered in Munich, Germany. With a wide range of state-of-the-art specialty products, WACKER is a leader in numerous fields and industries. Its products are required in countless high-growth end-user sectors, such as photovoltaics, electronics, pharmaceuticals and household/personal-care products. In 2020, the company with approx. 14,300 employees generated sales of € 4.69 billion (reporting date December 31, 2020).


PRESS CONTACT

Stiftung 2°
Dr. Mikiya Heise, Senior Referent Kommunikation
Telefon: +49 (0) 163 8827595
E-Mail: mikiya.heise@2grad.org

Wacker Chemie AG
Manuela Dollinger
Telefon: +49 (0) 89 6279 1629
E-Mail: manuela.dollinger@wacker.com

Lanxess AG
Alexander Böhm
Telefon: +49 (0) 221 8885 4746
Mobil: +49 151 7461 3088
E-Mail : alexander.boehm@lanxess.com

The climate-neutral economy of tomorrow needs a reliable transatlantic partnership

With an international climate summit on April 22, US President Biden wants to showcase the commitment and ambition with which the US has returned to the Paris Agreement. We say: Welcome back, friends!

The transition to the climate-neutral economy of tomorrow needs reliable partners. And no partnership worldwide can drive the necessary economic transformations forward as decisively as the transatlantic collaboration between Europe and the USA.

We Europeans have taken the first step with the EU Green Deal. What we need now is a transatlantic climate alliance in which innovations are driven forward, investments are mobilized and international competitiveness is strengthened.

Therefore, Stiftung 2° supports the below open letter from 100 decision-makers from politics and business calling for a new transatlantic cooperation for climate action.

The letter goes back to an initiative of the French MEP Pascal Canfin and has been published on April 13 in Die Welt, El Pais, Les Echos, Le Soir, Gazeta Wyborcza and Politico (download here).

Stiftung 2° invites interested partners to get together at the occasion of the American climate summit and in the run-up to COP26 to significantly strengthen transatlantic climate cooperation.

For a climate neutral economy ‘made in Europe’: Working together to re-launch Europe, now!

The European Union is facing the historic task of leading the economy out of an unprecedented crisis and at the same time setting the course for a climate-neutral economy made-in Europe. The EU Green Deal presented by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen must therefore become Europe’s innovation and growth strategy. It must be made more concrete and backed up with political instruments. For this, the position paper contains concrete proposals.

Among those involved in the dialogue were German companies from the steel industry, chemical industry, cement industry, energy industry, plant engineering and construction, the financial sector as well as companies from the building and mobility sectors.

Large parts of the economy want to use the upswing phase after the Corona crisis to make their contribution to meeting the Paris climate targets and to a powerful EU Green Deal. The prerequisite for this, however, is that political instruments will be created and implemented very quickly to enable companies to initiate the necessary transformation processes and remain internationally competitive. This is of central importance in order to combine ambitious climate protection goals and economic recovery. The increase in the climate target to at least 55% until 2030 proposed by the EU Commission is therefore recognized as expedient from a European perspective on climate policy and supported, provided that the condition is met that it is linked directly or in the very short term (no later than in the next three years) to the adoption and implementation of the necessary policy instruments.

“Large parts of the economy want to use the Green Deal as a driver for innovation and growth,” says Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Foundation 2°. “But they urgently need a political framework now so that climate-friendly investments pay off. Together we can make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. To this end, we make constructive proposals”.

The paper calls for a strong EU climate protection law to be passed under the German Council Presidency. CO2 pricing should be further developed at EU level as a key climate policy instrument and introduced in the buildings and transport sectors. The EU Commission’s target of a 30% climate quota for the next EU budget and the investment plan for the Green Deal must be bindingly adhered to. Lead markets for low-carbon products are to be created with a mix of incentives and regulatory measures. The paper makes proposals on how future climate policy fields and key technologies can be promoted in a targeted manner, for example through a European flagship project to establish a hydrogen economy, a European coordinated expansion of renewable energies, and effective investment incentives to double the renovation rate of existing buildings.

You can find the position paper here.


About Foundation 2°

Foundation 2° is an initiative of chairmen, managing directors and family entrepreneurs. Its aim is to call on politicians to establish effective market-based conditions for climate protection and to support the problem-solving skills of German companies. The foundation is named after its most important goal: to limit average global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, DRÄXLMAIER Group, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co. KG, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, Interseroh/ALBA, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp AG, Union Investment and VTG Aktiengesellschaft.

Press contact
Dr. Daniel Vallentin, Senior Consultant
Phone: +49 (0) 30-2045 3734
e-mail: daniel.vallentin@2grad.org


Selected statements of companies involved in the dialogue process for the position paper:

“The building sector in Germany is responsible for around 30% of CO2 emissions, across Europe for around 36%. Therefore building refurbishment is one of the central elements to achieve the climate goals. Now the ´Renovation Wave´ needs to be implemented fast and ambitiously to use this huge potential. We cannot meet a 55% emissions reduction target without at least doubling renovation rates.”
Volker Christmann, Chairman of the Board of Directors DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL & Head of Insulation Central Europe & Senior Vice President ROCKWOOL Group

“It is important and encouraging that Europe, with the support of the German government, continues to consistently pursue the climate policy path to Paris. At the same time, the measures must be in line with the path taken. As the building sector is responsible for 30% of emissions, it is key to set a course that makes the Green Deal and the EU’s renovation wave socially acceptable.”
Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE

“Made climate neutral will be the new quality feature for products, just like the former “made in Germany”.
Dr. Martin Gall, CEO & CTO, DRÄXLMAIER Group

“The real estate industry plays a central role in meeting the challenges of a climate-neutral economy. Due to the long investment cycles, essential decisions have to be made now. This requires planning reliability and technology openness. Social aspects must also be taken into account to ensure the implementation and broad acceptance of climate protection measures”.
Christian Lewandowski, CEO, Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co. KG

“In view of the climate crisis, any delay in the transformation is economically irrational from a risk perspective. In order to allow for the urgently needed change of course and to prevent a CO2-related shutdown, the right framework conditions must be set. These demands are an important, yet only the first step towards the crucial compliance with the 1.5°C target.“
Thomas Jorberg, Spokesman of the Board, GLS Bank

“The sustainable realisation of buildings over their entire life cycle is an important element for achieving global climate targets. The European Green Deal points the way forward and can create the climate policy basis for a system chance. In order to live up to its pioneering role, Germany must put the issue of sustainability at the political forefront – in the construction industry as in all other energy-intensive sectors of the economy. German business must then make its contribution through innovative products and business models.”
Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck, Managing Partner, GOLDBECK GmbH

“It is high time to take climate protection to the next European level. The efficiency potential is huge, especially in the building sector. Everyone can make a big difference here – by using energy responsibly. That is why we would like the EU Green Deal to specifically help as many people as possible to make their active contribution to climate protection. This requires a reliable framework for a market in which digitization, innovation and data sovereignty in the interests of climate protection and people are successfully interlinked.”
Thomas Zinnöcker, CEO, ista International GmbH

“The EU Green Deal must set the course so that climate protection and competitiveness go hand in hand and domestic production sites can continue to serve as drivers of wealth and prosperity in the future. The selection and design of political instruments for realizing the Green Deal will determine whether whole industries in Europe and especially in Germany will survive”.
Dr. Hinrich Mählmann, CEO and General Partner, OTTO FUCHS KG

“The Otto Group supports the European goal of a climate-neutral economy by 2050 and is particularly committed to making greater use of the potentials of the circular economy. The goal must be to reduce resource consumption. We need reliable and long-term national and European framework conditions and instruments for implementing and financing an internationally competitive climate-neutral economy as quickly as possible. As a Group we will make our contribution and, among other things, align our operations to be climate-neutral by 2030 with concrete measures”.
Alexander Birken, CEO and Chairman of the Otto Group Executive Board

“Reality already exceeds the worst climate scenarios. That is why we must act immediately. Climate protection and resource conservation are among the most important tasks of my generation – because we have a responsibility to drive change now. The construction sector can already make an effective contribution here today with energy-saving and circular products.”
Andreas Engelhardt, Personally Liable Partner, Schüco International K

“To create incentives for the rapid expansion of renewable energies, we need ambitious targets at EU level – also in the heating sector. Especially in urban centres, a centralized heat supply based on renewable energies can make a significant contribution to improving the climate footprint. Regulatory requirements must not put these promising solutions at disadvantage”.
Dr. Florian Bieberbach, Chairman of the Board of Directors, SWM – Stadtwerke München

“In order to achieve a climate-friendly transformation of the transport sector, mobility must change significantly. Mobility needs should be met increasingly and primarily by public transport. Because only by strengthening sustainable modes of transport, such as buses and trains, we can succeed effectively in countering climate change and the problem of air pollution. For this, the right political and financial framework conditions have to be in place. In particular, financing of additional operating costs that will incur as a result of the necessary increase in frequencies is currently completely unclear.”
Ingo Wortmann, Managing Director Mobility, SWM – Stadtwerke München

“Even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, protecting the climate remains a key challenge. And it is now of all times that we need to invest in a green future. In the transport sector, our focus must be on alternative forms of transport – such as rail – that are already kind to the environment. With this in mind, we must press ahead in expanding the rail infrastructure, ramping up combined traffic and
making rail transport less bureaucratic. Progress in these areas can help rail freight make a major contribution to improving the sector’s carbon footprint – and thereby to achieving the important target of a “zero-carbon industry made in Europe”.
Dr. Heiko Fischer, Chairman of the Executive Board, VTG AG

Make the EU Green Deal from a vision to a driver – The German EU Council Presidency can pave the way for the first climate-neutral continent.

“The climate policy expectations many German businesses have for the German EU Council Presidency are high: The European Green Deal must become the heart of the EU stimulus programme and be transformed from a vision to a real driver of economic recovery in Europe. The EU Green Deal must be crafted as a European innovation and growth strategy aimed at overcoming the impacts of the corona crisis. The German government’s commitment to furthering Franco-German cooperation and to developing European solutions with the member states will be decisive components in the success of the German EU Council Presidency.”

Through decisive action taken in close dialogue with the private sector, the German government can send an important signal for international climate action far beyond Europe’s borders. The German government should use the German EU Council Presidency to conduct essential preparatory work towards the goal of having all states set ambitious climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement by the time of the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, at the latest.

In the discussion on the European Commission’s plans to strengthen the 2030 climate target of the EU, it will be essential to include the private sector as a partner for ambitious climate action. The German government should set itself the task not only of speaking about targets and figures, but also by engaging businesses in an honest and inclusive dialogue on the measures and instruments they need to exercise their central role in protecting the climate.

The German government should especially devote itself to actively advancing the construction of a European hydrogen economy. It should also strive to support the European Commission’s planned “Renovation Wave” for Europe’s building stock with a strong financing mechanism.

Despite the economic impacts of the corona crisis, the prospects for a climate policy success of the German European Council Presidency are good: Climate action remains high on the political agenda and has established itself as a priority for society and business. The German government should build on this and be ambitious in advancing the plans of the European Commission. Large shares of the business sector advocate maintaining a forward-looking climate policy course to preserve their planning security on the path to climate neutrality and to assist them in making climate protection a part of their business models.”

About Foundation 2°

Foundation 2° is an initiative of chief executives, business leaders, and family-owned companies. Its goal is to call upon the political sphere to establish effective, market-based frameworks for climate protection and to support German businesses in their ability to provide solutions to climate change. The Foundation is named for its most important goal: keeping average global warming well under 2 degrees. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, Dirk Rossmann GmbH, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co. KG, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, Interseroh/ALBA, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp AG, Union Investment and the VTG Aktiengesellschaft.

Media Contact

Martin Kaul, Head of Office & Senior Climate and Energy Policy Officer
Tel.: +49 (0) 30-2045 3735

E-Mail: martin.kaul@2grad.org

 

 

CEO Statements on the German EU Council Presidency by supporting businesses of Foundation 2°:

“A European climate target must be set in a way that it is compatible with the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, a political framework is needed that enables companies to play their central role in climate protection and to combine this with economic success. This will be an important task for the German EU Council Presidency.”
Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, President of Foundation 2° and chairman of the supervisory board of the Otto Group

 

“Retail Companies rely on our resources to remain available in the future. In order to make climate protection a business model, we need unambiguous signals and a reliable policy framework.”
Stefan Kopp, CEO, ALDI SÜD


“We are pleased that EU has discovered residential buildings as an important leverage factor for the energy revolution. But if we want to achieve carbon-neutral buildings, we need up to 1,000 billion euros of additional investments in Germany alone. And, we need effective policy measures that motivate homeowners to actually undertake those investments. We would appreciate an initiative by the German EU Presidency for making this happen.”

Reinhard Klein, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall AG

 

“Even though we are experiencing a pandemic, we as DB are no less focused on prioritizing climate protection. A strong rail system is essential if Europe is to meet its climate targets. That is why we must continue to strengthen rail across the whole continent. With decisive action on the part of politicians and with great commitment from the rail industry, we will succeed in doing this together.”
Dr. Richard Lutz, CEO, Deutsche Bahn AG

 

“The building sector plays a central role in achieving the climate targets. Around 13.4 million people per year are employed in the construction industry across Europe, in Germany almost 400,000 people are employed related to the building envelope. In order to use and expand this great potential, we need an ambitious design of the EU Renovation Wave“.
Volker Christmann, Chairman of the Board of Directors, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL GmbH & Co. KG

 

“Successful climate action is a triad consisting of the state, companies and society. The building sector in particular shows how important it is, on the one hand to increase investments in stocks, and on the other hand not to overwhelm households. We have to use the EU Renovation Wave for aligning climate action and social compatability.”

Michael Zahn, CEO, Deutsche Wohnen SE

 

“By raising the European climate target for 2030, Germany’s EU Council Presidency can point the way to a more sustainable and resilient economy after the Corona crisis. Europe has a great opportunity to be strengthened by linking the national and European economic stimulus packages most effectively and taking a strong focus on material investments in climate protection technologies and digital infrastructures.”

Dr. Frank Mastiaux, CEO, EnBW AG

 

“In the Corona crisis, we stuck together to protect the current and older generation and realized that suddenly things were possible that seemed unthinkable months ago. In the climate crisis we need to act equally decisively and quickly – to protect future generations. A further delay of the transformation would be completely irrational, also from an economic perspective.”

Thomas Jorberg, Chairman of the Board, GLS Bank


The building sector can still contribute a lot more to climate protection. And investments in the construction of sustainable buildings and resource-saving renovation of existing properties create many new jobs. But to make best use of this great potential, an ambitious EU Green Deal is needed.“

Jan-Hendrik Goldbeck, Managing Partner, GOLDBECK GmbH

 

With its SALCOS® project, Salzgitter AG is a pioneer in the transformation to a climate-friendly, low-carbon steel production in Europe. The feasibility study recently agreed with several companies, the state of Lower Saxony and the city of Wilhelmshaven for the construction of a hydrogen-based direct reduction plant (DRI) at the deep-water Jade-Weser-Port shows: We are serious about this! Such steps to decarbonize the industry, which are desired by society, require a massive restructuring of the steel making processes and are therefore not available for free. Politicians are now asked to quickly implement the necessary framework conditions that have already been announced in order to make the plans a reality.”
Prof. Dr. Heinz Joerg Fuhrmann, CEO, Salzgitter AG

 

The economy needs sustainability, whilst the environment needs financing. Even the major government aid programmes that we have witnessed are simply not enough to comprehensively finance a sustainable transformation of the economy. If we really want to mobilise private capital, then we need a reliable framework; incentives and pragmatism always achieve more than bans and bureaucracy.”
Hans Joachim Reinke, CEO, Union Investment

 

“The European Commission is making 2021 the Year of Rail – a clear signal in favor of the environmentally friendly mode of transport. But this is not enough: in order to achieve the ambitious but critical climate targets, policymakers must first establish fair competitive conditions throughout Europe and reduce the number of bureaucratic obstacles, as well as expanding and digitalizing the infrastructure. Only then can a substantial modal shift to rail be achieved.“

Dr. Heiko Fischer, Chairman of the Executive Board, VTG AG

A Strong Climate Stimulus Programme for Industry – Using Crisis Management as Catalyst for Climate-Neutral Transformation

The industrial sector is facing particularly large challenges in light of the economic impacts of the Corona pandemic. At the same time, it is one of the key stakeholders involved in reaching climate targets. In order to closely link the economic measures for addressing both the Corona and climate crises, Foundation 2° has developed a position paper on the basis of a dialogue process with industrial companies from the key energy-intensive steel, chemicals, cement, and non-ferrous metals sectors in Germany. The position paper provides policy instruments necessary to achieve the transformation of industry towards climate neutrality while strengthening innovative potential and competitiveness in the current difficult economic situation.

The companies involved in the dialogue process include, among others, Aurubis AG, BASF SE, Covestro AG, HeidelbergCement AG, Otto Fuchs KG, Salzgitter AG, Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel GmbH & Co. KG, Siemens Energy, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG and Wacker Chemie AG.

“The industrial sector remains committed to ambitious climate targets and has put forward concrete proposals on how to achieve them,” says Sabine Nallinger, board member of Foundation 2°, speaking on the position paper. With it, industry sends a strong signal to policymakers. “We now need reliable solutions from policymakers to make the industrial sector crisis-proof and to support it in its transformation in pursuit of the climate targets.”

The position paper provides concrete proposals for a mix of instruments for a climate-neutral industrial sector. These include the creation of an investment programme for low carbon breakthrough technologies (LCBT) with key points such as an innovation and investment fund for LCBT and the introduction of instruments for minimising risk in large investment projects such as carbon contracts for difference.

The position paper calls for ambitious expansion targets for the production capacity of hydrogen and the introduction of a quota for hydrogen from renewable energy sources, as well as a simultaneous expansion of the necessary infrastructure, such as that needed for the transport of hydrogen.

In addition, the dialogue with the companies revealed industry’s need for lead markets for industrial products from low-carbon manufacturing and the corresponding manufacturing technologies. This entails the creation of incentives and regulatory instruments that generate demand for products from low-carbon manufacturing such as, for example, bonuses, quotas, or the definition of ambitious, climate-friendly specifications for public procurement.

Last but not least, the paper calls for the expansion of generating capacities and infrastructures for a sufficient supply of renewable energy at competitive prices and provides recommendations for the acceleration of the expansion of renewable energy generating capacity and of the power transmission grid.

This position paper is, following on the business statement issued by 68 companies and initiated by Foundation 2° – the largest, most comprehensive statement from businesses for ambitious climate action ever issued in Germany – a further important, substantive contribution by Foundation 2° and crystallises the demands for the design of a climate stimulus programme from the perspective of the industrial sector.
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The position paper can be found here.

 

About Foundation 2°

Foundation 2° is an initiative of Board Chairpersons, Managing Directors, and family entrepreneurs. Its goal is to call upon policymakers to establish effective market frameworks for climate action and to support the problem-solving expertise of German enterprises. The foundation is named for its most important goal: to limit average global warming to considerably under 2 degrees Celsius. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co. KG, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, Interseroh/ALBA, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp AG, and Union Investment.

 

Press contact

Martin Kaul, Head of Office & Senior Advisor in Climate & Energy Policy
Telephone: +49 (0) 30-2045 3735

E-Mail: martin.kaul@2grad.org

 

 

Making the economy more resilient with a climate stimulus programme – Companies send strong signal to Petersberg Climate Dialogue

At today’s launch of the 11th edition of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue, a broad alliance of 68 large companies from all sectors of the economy address political representatives in a business statement: The private sector is prepared to assume societal responsibility in the crisis and, at the same time, stick to the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. To achieve this, governments must act decisively now and restore urgently needed investment security with climate friendly long-term economic stimulus programmes.

The participating companies are renowned representatives from all sectors of the economy, including heavy industry, chemical industry, mechanical engineering and vehicle manufacturing, the financial sector and large companies from the building and mobility sectors. Together, they employ almost one million people in Germany and more than 3 million people globally, representing a global turnover of about one trillion Euro.

Sabine Nallinger, Managing Director of Foundation 2°: „Many companies from all sectors of the economy      have already begun to make their business models climate-friendly, based on scientific evidence. These investments must not be jeopardized. The German government should work with all Member States of the European Union to assure that the there is no turning back from European climate policy.”

Almost two months before the start of the German EU presidency, there is growing hope that Germany will make a significant contribution to respond to both, the Corona and the climate crisis.

Prof. Dr. Michael Otto, President of Foundation 2° and chairman of the supervisory board of the Otto Group, says: „Understanding climate protection as a modernisation project for the economy can now play an important role in overcoming the consequences of the Corona crisis – and at the same time help to avoid profound negative impacts of the climate crisis.”

Through an ambitious design of the EU Green Deal, the German government can help to lead the European economy out of the crisis with a significant boost to innovation and modernization, position European companies as leading players in sustainable technologies on the world market and secure jobs in Europe.

For this to succeed, the German government should work to ensure compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement also in times of the Corona crisis. By the next UN Climate Change Conference COP 26 at the latest, all governments should present ambitious climate targets (NDCs) in line with the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement. Together with an international alliance of progressive companies, Foundation 2° will support the German government in this endeavour.

The business statement in German and English is available here.

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About Foundation 2°

Foundation 2° is an initiative of CEOs, managing directors and family enterprises. Its aim is to call on politicians to establish effective market-based conditions for climate protection and to support the problem-solving skills of German companies. The foundation is named after its most important goal: to limit average global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. The supporters of the foundation are: AIDA Cruises, ALDI SÜD Dienstleistungs-GmbH & Co. oHG, DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany GmbH, Deutsche Bahn AG, DEUTSCHE ROCKWOOL, Deutsche Telekom AG, Deutsche Wohnen SE, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Gegenbauer Holding SE & Co. KG, GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG, GOLDBECK GmbH, Interseroh/ALBA, Otto Group, OTTO FUCHS KG, PUMA SE, Salzgitter AG, Schüco International KG, Schwäbisch Hall-Stiftung bauen-wohnen-leben, thyssenkrupp AG and Union Investment.

 

Press contact

Martin Kaul, Head of Office & Senior Advisor for Climate and Energy Policy
Phone: +49 (0) 30-2045 3735
E-mail: martin.kaul@2grad.org

 

Selection of statements from participating companies:

„Politics, society and industry are showing great commitment and community spirit in coping with the Corona crisis. This is something we have to maintain. In the long term, it is important to make our economy more crisis-proof and competitive with a view to a truly sustainable, climate-neutral future.”
Dr. Markus Steilemann, Chief Executive Officer, Covestro

„An effective CO2 pricing is like a climate compass for organising sustainable business models. There must be no way back from sustained CO2-prices. We rather need a meaningfull integration in an economic stimulus plan for climate protection and sustainability.”
Dr. Frank Mastiaux, Chairman of the Board, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG

„We cannot achieve our climate protection goals without climate-friendly mobility. We now need a clear political commitment that the previous direction of travel will be maintained. With a European Green Deal and a climate stimulus package, the next milestones can be planned much better.”
Olaf Schabirosky, CEO, Hermes Germany GmbH

„The substitution of carbon by hydrogen in steel making is the most promising approach to achieve the CO2-neutrality until 2050, which is demanded by politics. For a realisation of respective industrial concepts in terms of investment the required political framework has to be put in place as soon as possible: This comprises direct project support and lead markets for low CO2 steel products.”
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Fuhrmann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Salzgitter AG

„Two thirds of the residential buildings in Germany must be renovated in order to meet our climate protection goals. With an ambitious climate stimulus package, that includes innovative products and ideas, the building sector can make a very important contribution to the recovery of the German economy. and at the same time create secure jobs for small and medium-sized companies.”
Andreas Engelhardt, personally liable partner, Schüco International KG


„What we need now is stronger investment and clear perspectives. Lead markets for carbon-neutral products and the establishment of a sustainable hydrogen economy are central to this. A climate stimulus package is an important step in this direction.”
Bernhard Osburg, Chairman of the Executive Board, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG

 

 

German Business Declaration on Climate Policy during the Coalition Talks

The 52 Signatories: adidas | AIDA Cruises | ALBA | ALDI SÜD | Alfred Ritter GmbH
& Co.KG | Alnatura |Baufritz | Bausparkasse Schwäbisch Hall | BUDNIKOWSKY | CEWE | DAIKIN Airconditioning Germany | Deutsche Börse | Deutsche ROCKWOOL | Deutsche Telekom | Deutsche Wohnen | elobau | EnBW | ENTEGA | E.ON | EPSON DEUTSCHLAND | EWE | Firmengruppe Max Bögl | Gegenbauer Holding | GLS Bank | Hermes Germany | HOCHTIEF | Interseroh | ista International | Lebensbaum | LR Facility Services | METRO | Naturstrom | Nestlé Deutschland | Otto Group | Papier- und Kartonfabrik Varel | PUMA | SAP | Schneider Schreibgeräte | Schüco International | Siemens | Sparda-Bank München | Stadtwerke München | Stadtwerke Tübingen | Tchibo | Trianel | Triodos Bank | VAUDE | Verband Deutscher Verkehrsunternehmen (VDV) | Viebrockhaus | WALA | Wilkhahn | Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie (ZVEI)

You can find the Business Declaration of the Foundation 2°, GermanWatch and B.A.U.M e.V. as a download or as the original text right below:

 

The necessary effort towards a global energy transition has gained new momentum in the wake of the Paris Climate Agreement. Worldwide, the climate accord has augmented corporate planning security, thus spurring higher levels of investment.

After the historic success in Paris and its reaffirmation by world leaders at the G20 summit in Hamburg, the issue of implementation has moved to centre stage in Germany and the European Union. Germany has taken an important first step to improving the reliability of conditions for investing in our carbon-neutral future with its Climate Action Plan 2050 and the sector targets for 2030. We welcome the adoption of these policy measures. Given the right regulatory conditions, the private sector can make an important contribution to achieving the emission targets for Germany and the EU that emerge from the Paris Agreement. We want to do our part to protect the climate, and can do so with forward-looking investment and innovation.

Germany needs a robust strategy for implementing its comparatively stringent emission reduction targets if it does not want to fall behind in the global race to develop carbon-neutral economies. Ambitious climate protection now represents an important component of economic policy that seeks to ensure reliable conditions for investment while creating and securing jobs. Taking on a vanguard role in climate protection represents a tremendous opportunity for promoting innovation and bolstering Germany‘s economic competitiveness. The new German government should accelerate the speed of the transformation to a carbon-neutral economy. To this end, it should collaborate closely with partners both in and outside Europe.

As companies from a broad spectrum of industries in the German economy, we believe there is an urgent need for the new government to address the following issues:

1. The Climate Action Plan 2050 should be implemented as a reform programme for Germany. A key task in the coming months will be to create reliable conditions for investment. To this end, the coalition agreement should make a binding commitment to implementing the Climate Action Plan. Furthermore, legislators should prioritise the development of implementation plans and associated concrete measures for achieving the Plan‘s 2030 sector targets.

2. The coalition agreement should bolster the Energiewende (energy transition) and energy efficiency revolution as essential drivers of innovation. This includes supporting faster growth of renewable energy through Germany’s new competitive bidding process as well as greater electricity savings in order to enable the broad electrification of the transport, heating and industrial sectors. The expansion of power grids, the deployment of power storage systems and the digital transformation need to be accelerated in tandem with better European cooperation in order to promote the clean energy transition and greater efficiency. The coalition parties should speed up the energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings, e.g. through tax incentives. They should also make a firm commitment to a socially viable pathway for phasing out coal power. Germany’s carbon-intensive power plant capacities should be gradually reduced in a manner that does not lose sight of power system reliability or climate targets; effective CO2 pricing should be a key mechanism for achieving this goal.

3. In order to promote investment security in Germany and the EU, the emissions trading scheme should be further developed through supplementary measures for an effective CO2 price signal. Legislators should consider reforming the system of taxes and levies as well as abolishing fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. The adoption of such reforms would strengthen Germany‘s and the EU‘s ability to advocate similar approaches at future G20 meetings. Germany‘s energy-intensive industrial companies require a smart policy framework that safeguards their international competitiveness while enabling the necessary low-carbon transition.

4. Germany and the EU need to jump start the transformation of the transport sector. A comprehensive low-carbon strategy for the transport sector needs to be developed. Specifically, measures should be enacted to decisively strengthen rail and local public transport, e.g. through speeding up the development and modernisation of infrastructure. Additional measures are also needed in order to encourage the use of low-emission drive technologies and fuels, e.g. by promoting electric vehicles.

5. We expect the new German government to enact decisive and efficient measures to promote the attainment of the national emissions target for 2020. Germany‘s and the EU‘s long-term climate target needs to be brought in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement prior to the UN climate summit in 2020. This means adhering to the upper edge of the current emissions corridor and setting the goal of a reduction up to 95% by 2050.