19 Jan 2018, 00:00
Sören Amelang Julian Wettengel

Industry climate study 'a breakthrough'/ 'Top priority' for 2020 goal?


The Federation of German Industries (BDI) signalling a new stance on climate protection with its “Climate paths” study is a “breakthrough, more important […] than most governmental climate protection plans and targets,” writes Jakob Schlandt in an opinion piece in the Tagesspiegel. “Whoever continues to warn of a ‘de-industrialisation’ through climate protection and talks and writes of the ‘Energiewende madness’, is isolated and shifts him- or herself to the sidelines,” writes Schlandt. He adds: “German industry wants climate protection and energy transition; that is certain now.”

For background on the BDI study, read the CLEW article German industry says protecting climate can benefit economy.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Like other recent studies, the German Industry Association’s (BDI) study shows that cutting emissions by 80 percent by 2050 is technically and economically feasible, writes Andreas Mihm in an editorial in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. But the preconditions are serious - getting policymakers “with their obsession to regulate everything in detail” to take a back seat is a greater challenge than financing the necessary  1.5-trillion-euro investment needed. “Even more challenging is explaining to citizens that climate protection and the transformation of the energy system will cost them a whole lot more money,” writes Mihm. “This Energiewende won't be a self-seller for a long time yet, but can be done better.”

Find a CLEW article on yesterday’s BDI study here.

For background on the BDI study, read the CLEW article German industry says protecting climate can benefit economy.

Westdeutsche Zeitung

The decisive message of the German Industry Association’s (BDI) study is that climate protection can be an economic success story, writes Ekkehard Rüger in an editorial for the Westdeutsche Zeitung. “To hear this wake-up call not just from environmentalists but also from industry increases the pressure on the future government,” writes Rüger. “Political statements on climate targets must finally be substantiated with clear framework conditions. This regards protection against transferring production to countries with weaker emission rules, but also controversial subjects like the coal exit, a price for CO2, and transport emissions. Industry seems less scared of this than politicians.”

Find a CLEW article on yesterday’s BDI study here.

Find background on Germany’s political situation in CLEW’s Coalition watch – The making of a new German government.

German Bundestag / Greens

The Green parliamentary group in the German Bundestag (parliament) has introduced a motion calling on the government to give “top priority” to Germany’s target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, initiating a debate in the plenary. Shutting down the 20 dirtiest coal power plants by 2020, formalising a step-by-step coal phase-out and an accelerated expansion of renewable energies are among the measures needed, write the Greens. “We simply can’t afford to lose another year, or even half a year,” said parliamentary novice and Green member Lisa Badum in her first speech. Christian Democrat (CDU) Thomas Bareiß said that his conservative block and the Social Democrats (SPD) emphasised their commitment to all “internationally agreed climate targets” in their blueprint for possible coalition negotiations. The Greens’ motion was referred to committee.

Read the motion in German here and the debate transcript in German here (p. 574).

Check out CLEW’s article German party leaders agree energy policy blueprint for coalition talks and the coalition watch for the latest on building Germany’s next government.


Chemical companies BASF, Evonik, and Clariant seek to use excess renewable power in Germany to make synthetic fuels and other chemicals, reports Ludwig Burger for Reuters. According to Germany’s chemical industry lobby VCI, so-called power-to-X technology could become of “foremost importance” in stabilising the grid and replacing oil as a feedstock.

Read the article in English here.

Shell / ITM Power

British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company Shell and ITM Power will build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant at Shell's Rhineland refinery in Germany, the companies announced in a press release. With a peak capacity of 10 megawatts, the hydrogen will be used for the processing and upgrading of products at the refinery’s Wesseling site as well as testing the technology and exploring applications in other sectors, they write. The plant, named “Refhyne”, is scheduled to be in operation in 2020.

Find the press release in English here.

Der Spiegel

Unconventional fracking, the gas drilling by means of chemicals, is a chance not only for supply security, but also for the climate, Michael Theurer, deputy leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) parliamentary group, told Der Spiegel. Using more natural gas could decrease the country’s CO₂ emissions, writes Der Spiegel. Germany consumes large amounts of CO₂-intensive oil and coal. Germany has virtually banned unconventional fracking, aside from a few test drillings – which no federal state has thus far allowed.

Read the article in German here.

Die Welt

The German government will likely arrive empty-handed at an EU Commission meeting on 30 January where several states are supposed to show how and by when they intend to achieve compliance with European Union air quality directives, writes Nikolaus Doll in Die Welt. Time is running out to decide “new and binding measures” – demanded by the Commission – to bring down nitrogen oxide (NOx) levels in inner cities, in large parts caused by older diesel engine vehicles, writes Doll. Meetings of some of the working groups, established at the diesel summit in 2017 and responsible for proposing measures, were cancelled, which has delayed the process. The proposal to oblige carmakers to pay for hardware retrofitting is an issue heatedly debated in the working groups.

Read the article in German here.

Find background on the diesel technology’s role for clean air and climate in the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy.

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