17 Jun 2020, 15:06
Benjamin Wehrmann

Coronavirus shows little effect on German industry's climate plans so far – NGO


The economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic has had little effect on many German companies' plans to invest in emissions reduction measures so far, Steffen Ermisch writes in business daily Handelsblatt. From small and medium sized companies to heavyweights such as Bayer, Lanxess or Daimler, the "corona crisis is slowing the race for the green zero much less than widely expected," with some companies even increasing their climate ambitions amid the global pandemic, Ermisch writes. According to Alberto Carrillo Pineda of NGO Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the coronavirus has shown companies how important it is to prepare for global crisis events. "A company's resilience is also determined by preparing for the upheaval caused by climate change," Pineda told the newspaper, adding that the number of listed European companies participating in a CDP analysis of their climate plans has even increased since last year. He added that many companies will continue to follow their emissions reduction and energy efficiency plans because it also helps them save costs and gives them access to cheaper bank loans.

The abrupt halt to industrial production and deteriorating export prospects due to the coronavirus outbreak in March raised concerns that many companies might reconsider long-term investments in emissions reduction and energy efficiency in Germany and elsewhere. The government hopes to intertwine the economic recovery from the pandemic with a stimulus package that emphasises investments in decarbonisation, arguing that climate-friendly businesses have a much better perspective to get back on a sustained growth track over the next years.

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