German gov't should aim for GHG neutrality by 2050: foundation

Source: Xinhua| 2019-09-09 23:29:00|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- Germany's climate policy should be underpinned by the goal of "greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 and related emission reductions of 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990," according to a position paper published by the cross-industry Foundation 2 Degrees on Monday.

The foundation's position paper "contains the most important business demands for an ambitious climate protection law" in the German building, transport and industry sectors.

The effective pricing of carbon dioxide (CO2) should be the German government's "central overarching climate policy measure," according to the foundation.

"A few days before the decisive climate cabinet we are sending a clear signal of support to politicians for an ambitious climate policy," Sabine Nallinger, the foundation's managing director, told Xinhua.

The foundation of chief executive officers and managing directors from Germany's automotive, heavy industry, mechanical engineering, chemical and financial sectors advocated "clear, long-term and ambitious framework conditions" for German climate policy.

The foundation's central demand is that Germany introduce a CO2 price for the sectors not covered by the European Union's Emissions Trading System.

This should help "spark a dynamic of renovation in the building sector" as well as promote the "market ramp-up of electric mobility" in Germany, the position paper stated.

Moreover, the Foundation 2 Degrees wants a mechanism that would enable the "market introduction of technologies in the industrial sector for the substantial reduction of process emissions."

"The Federal government must now translate the long discussions about the right course of climate policy into action," stressed Michael Otto, chairman of the foundation's Board of Trustees.

"Many companies are prepared to use climate protection as an opportunity," he emphasized.

Ahead of the German government's climate cabinet meeting on Sept. 20, Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) warned that the government coalition "cannot continue if it is not able to clarify beyond doubt how Germany can achieve its climate goals by 2030."

"If we, as an industrialized country, do not show how things can be done, we cannot expect other countries to join us. The credibility of this government is at stake," Schulze told the German newspaper Tagesspiegel.

Schulze said she believed that the ministries' CO2 proposals have not been sufficiently ambitious to date and she called for "a mechanism for these and future governments to review every year how far Germany has come in saving greenhouse gases."

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), also advocated a regular review of the country's climate protection measures.

One needed to switch to "turbo" gear, the conservative leader told the German broadcaster ARD, although she spoke out against the Environment Ministry taking the lead on this.