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13 Jan 2022, 14:11
Sören Amelang

German industry calls on government to use G7 presidency for cooperation on climate

Clean Energy Wire

Germany should use its G7 presidency to push for more international cooperation in the fight against climate change, the country's industry association BDI has said. "National and even European solo efforts aren't enough," BDI president Siegfried Russwurm said at a press conference marking the start of the year. He added that the formation of international climate clubs could be helpful if large emitters such as the USA or China sign up. These efforts could focus on the G7 and extend to the G20 in order "to reach a higher global level of ambitions," Russwurm said. 

The lobby group said Germany needs to massively invest in gas-fired power stations that can later switch to hydrogen in order to secure supply security, given that total electricity demand is set to double by 2045 – when the country plans to be climate-neutral. Russwurm said the government will probably need to introduce capacity mechanisms to incentivise the construction of these power plants. "The state must allow a market regiment in order to make the construction of gas power plants worthwhile," Russwurm said. He called for approval procedures to be massively speeded up in order to accelerate the investments needed for reaching climate targets: "In implementing the energy transition, we must think in months instead of years from now on."

Industry decarbonisation is rapidly picking up speed in Germany and the EU, but it hinges on the availability of sufficient amounts of renewable power; competitive business models, and the right framework conditions to trigger the requisite investments. Many German companies have come to see the shift to climate neutrality as an enormous business opportunity. Industry says the new government must act quickly to enable the "greatest transformation in Germany's history."

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