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 Stiftung 2 Grad 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.