Former German state secretary Baake heads new climate policy foundation
Clean Energy Wire / Tagesspiegel Background
More than two years after quitting his job due to differences with the new government at the time, Rainer Baake, former German state secretary in the economy ministry, has announced his return to Berlin's political stage as the head of a new foundation for climate neutrality. Baake will lead the Stiftung Klimaneutralität, which aims to show how a "quick transformation" of the German economy towards climate neutrality can be achieved, the foundation said in a press release. The foundation says it will focus on showing how Germany and Europe can achieve more ambitious interim emissions reduction targets to get to climate neutrality by 2050 and avoid "misguided investments" in fossil energy; foster energy efficiency measures; the expansion of renewable energy sources, and the creation of a green hydrogen infrastructure.
In an interview with energy policy newsletter Tasgesspiegel Background, Baake said the foundation, which started its work on 1 July, will initially seek to shape German energy policy by publishing a "climate action roadmap" by mid-2021 for achieving climate neutrality. He added that the foundation's work will be funded by "wealthy private donors who want to do something against global climate change" through the Climate Imperative Foundation, which is managed by the US consultancy Energy Innovation.
Baake left the government in 2018 due to "bitter disappointment" of the government coalition's climate policy plans. The Green Party member, who has been dubbed “Mr. Energiewende” by German media due to his expertise and his key role in the country’s energy policy, served as state secretary in the environment and economy ministries under politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and conservative CDU/CSU alliance. He oversaw the reform of the core Energiewende legislation and the renewable energy act EEG, which included the shift from feed-in tariffs to a tender system. From 2012 to 2014, Baake also was the founding director of energy policy think tank Agora Energiewende.*
*Like Agora Energiewende, the Clean Energy Wire is funded by the Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.