Source: Continental announcement

HANOVER, Germany — Continental is calling for more momentum and a targeted concept to achieve a carbon-neutral economy in Germany. Otherwise, it claims, there is a risk of serious disruption if the government’s self-imposed climate targets are to be reached by 2045.

Policymakers must therefore create the necessary conditions for a sustainable transformation at all levels:

“The effects of climate change are dramatic and are leading to tectonic shifts in the economy with far-reaching social consequences. Thousands of jobs and billions of euros in added value for industry depend on every political decision,” says Dr. Ariane Reinhart, Executive Board member for Human Relations and Sustainability at Continental. “We can transform, but we cannot have any discontinuity.

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“Creating the necessary conditions for climate protection means not only accelerating the transformation, but also preventing large-scale unemployment. It is therefore crucial to identify new employment opportunities brought about by the climate transformation.

“We must help employees transition from one type of work to another and offer them new prospects through targeted training programs.”

An economically oriented incentive system would help to achieve carbon neutrality.

“The message must be that carbon neutrality is also commercially worthwhile. Although the goals have been defined, we are transforming an entire economy and society, and we do not have a concept for this,” explains Reinhart.

Without one, she warns, social harmony will be jeopardized and acceptance of the need for sustainability and transformation will decline.

In this context, energy economist Dr. Claudia Kemfert, head of the Energy, Transportation, Environment department at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and professor of energy economics and energy policy at the Leuphana University Lüneburg, calls for a significantly faster expansion of renewable energies and the phase-out of coal by 2030.

“The incoming federal government must make clear how much greenhouse gas budget we have left and how we aim to achieve the climate targets in Germany. This requires the start of the transportation transition and the promotion of both sustainability in agriculture and the decarbonization of industry through targeted subsidies.”

To view the entire announcement, click HERE.