09 Sep 2019, 13:41
Freja Eriksen

Major German companies back position paper calling for climate neutrality

Clean Energy Wire

Germany should aim for greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050, a position paper published by industry-related Foundation 2° says. The paper has resulted from consultations with more than 30 German companies, among them industry heavyweights Volkswagen, Siemens and Thyssenkrupp, which together employ almost 1 million people in Germany. The foundation says related emission reductions of 95 percent compared to 1990 levels are needed by 2050 and call for introducing CO2 pricing as the country's "leading climate policy instrument across the board." They are calling for CO2 prices in non-Emissions Trading System (ETS) sectors to be introduced "before this legislative period ends," meaning no later than 2021, although "competitive energy and production costs for the industries concerned would have to be guaranteed.” The paper supports the target of achieving a 65 percent renewables share in electricity consumption by 2030, but call for the introduction of a stable European industrial electricity price in order to avoid European competition for the lowest industrial electricity prices. This should be linked to "energy- and climate-related compensatory measures taken by companies." The position paper also proposes expanding incentive and subsidy programmes to boost electric mobility and to upgrade railways while making rail travel cheaper. It also calls for research support for so-called low carbon breakthrough technologies and their market introduction, among other measures.

The German government's climate cabinet will meet on 20 September to make key decisions on climate action. The possible introduction of a non-ETS CO2 price is among the main points to be discussed, and parties, industry representatives and research institutes have all been pitching their ideas on how to do this in the best way.

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