Siemens boss calls on EU to turn fight against climate change into opportunity for industry
The European Union should make the fight against climate change one of its top priorities and turn such leadership into an economic opportunity, the head of German engineering company Siemens, Joe Kaeser, writes in an op-ed in business daily Handelsblatt. “As European industry, we have the unique opportunity to be and stay in the lead in regards to environmental technologies.” Renewable energy sources should become the cornerstone of the economy, not only in mobility but also in buildings and the industry itself, Kaeser says. Power-to-x technologies – ways to use renewable electricity to create other energy sources and materials such as gas – should play a crucial role.
Like few other companies, Siemens epitomises the dramatic transition the energy and manufacturing industry is undergoing. In May, the conglomerate decided to split off its struggling gas and power division. Kaeser says the EU should also aim for much more investment in future technologies, such as artificial intelligence. It should also prepare citizens for a digital world, including a masterplan for academic education. Kaeser also calls for a unified European foreign economic and trade policy, centered in a new institution aimed at “truly supporting” European companies’ export activities. He also called for a new competition regulation in order to create a level playing field with the US and China for open and fair trade.