The basic materials industry is a cornerstone of Germany’s economic prosperity. In addition to making a major contribution to GDP, it provides over 550,000 high-quality jobs. While this sector of the economy has improved its energy efficiency in recent years, there is an urgent need for far greater emissions cuts, given national and international climate protection targets. But how can the basic materials industry become climate neutral by 2050 without jeopardising its strong competitive position in the global marketplace? This is a pressing question.
Agora Energiewende and the Wuppertal Institute recently explored this issue in a series of workshops held with industry associations, trade unions, government ministries and civil society representatives. The study, which outlines various technology and regulatory design options, is the outcome of this dialogue process. These workshops underscored that industry is ready to proactively tackle the challenge of climate protection.
However, the absence of a conducive regulatory environment in tandem with an insufficient willingness on the part of policymakers to implement innovative policy instruments prevents industry from striking out and taking the lead. It’s high time that changed. Ultimately, every new industrial facility that is constructed in coming years must be compatible with the goal of zero net emissions – as new facilities have lifespans lasting well beyond 2050. The aim of this publication is to encourage industrial investment that abets rather than hinders the attainment of our climate protection goals.
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