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.