Climate protection on an industrial scale – What companies expect from politicians now

Climate protection on an industrial scale – What companies expect from politicians now

Contribution by Sabine Nallinger, Director of “Stiftung 2°”

The latest IPCC report, as well as the forest fires in the Mediterranean and the flood disaster in Germany, make it unmistakably clear; the upcoming German government must put us on a binding and reliable path to climate neutrality using concrete measures. In addition to an ambitious plan that challenges businesses and society, the necessary financial resources must also be made available to build the infrastructure for a climate-neutral economy.

For our current report, “Auf dem Weg zur Klimaneutralität: Unternehmerischer Klimaschutz in der Praxis – Stiftung 2 Grad”, we asked our sponsoring companies from the key sectors of energy, industry, buildings, mobility, and digitisation about concrete measures and obstacles on their path to climate neutrality.

The companies’ responses show that many have started their journey towards climate neutrality already. Together with their business partners, they are operationalising climate protection at their sites and in their processes. Of course, the companies are at different points along the way. Depending on the sector and business area, the challenges vary in magnitude, and the solutions vary in complexity.

The transformation of energy-intensive industry, for example, can only succeed through an ambitious expansion of renewable energies. In order for us to achieve the necessary goals, regulatory and bureaucratic hurdles need to be urgently removed, and procedures need to be simplified and accelerated. Additionally, political measures are needed to create lead markets for green products and to ensure effective carbon leakage protection in the long term. CO2 pricing must become a key instrument. In addition to market incentives, product standards, labelling and in some cases, quotas will be necessary. In the transport sector, the market ramp-up of alternative drive systems must be accelerated, and rail transport must be massively strengthened. In the building sector, the renovation rate must be increased to two or even three percent.

The technical solutions for entrepreneurial climate protection are often already available but not yet competitive. There may also be a lack of regulatory frameworks to safeguard investments in new technologies in the long term. What is needed now is a committed and implementation-oriented climate policy that supports companies on a sector-specific basis to continue to put their innovative strength at the service of ambitious climate protection.

The next German government has the levers for our future in its hands. When it fails to tackle climate related issues, it will be felt by future generations. We urgently need more courage, speed and scale here, because we are facing nothing less than the next industrial revolution.


The 2° Foundation is an initiative of CEOs, managing directors and family entrepreneurs. Its aim is to call on policymakers to establish effective market-based framework conditions for climate protection and to support the problem-solving expertise of German companies. The foundation is named after its most important goal: to limit average global warming to 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.


IKEM – Institute for Climate Protection,
Energy and Mobility e.V.