VCI President Bock on the BDI climate path study

A Herculean task for the German national economy

Bock summarizes a new study of the Federation of German Industries (BDI) : “The BDI study shows that the 80 percent climate target to 2050 is feasible where technology is concerned, but it will be a Herculean task. The investment requirement of 1.500 billion euros is an immense challenge for the German national economy.”

VCI President Kurt Bock emphasises that the chemical industry supports ambitious global climate protection and intensively contributes to it: “We do so in two ways – with our innovative products and technologies, and in our own production which we bring in an ever more energy and resource-efficient shape.” - Photo: © BASF SE
VCI President Kurt Bock emphasises that the chemical industry supports ambitious global climate protection and intensively contributes to it: “We do so in two ways – with our innovative products and technologies, and in our own production which we bring in an ever more energy and resource-efficient shape.” - Photo: © BASF SE

Kurt Bock, President of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), points to the major transformation process for German economy and society and the associated need for huge investments, as highlighted in the climate path study (Klimapfadstudie) of the Federation of German Industries (BDI). Bock states: “The BDI study shows that the 80 percent climate target to 2050 is feasible where technology is concerned, but it will be a Herculean task. The investment requirement of 1.500 billion euros is an immense challenge for the German national economy.”

But money alone is not enough. According to Bock, Germany also needs innovative solutions to many open questions. He emphasises that major research efforts will be needed already for Germany’s minimum climate target of 80 percent, together with the dramatic transformation of the energy infrastructure. The VCI President thinks that many of the necessary measures are not economically viable from today’s standpoint, so that they cannot come about automatically through the market. He explains: “Without massive political support measures, the prerequisite investments cannot be realised under business management aspects. Furthermore, we need a broad debate for societal acceptance.” Bock holds that more acceptance is essential for the required climate protection spending and also for individual elements like the construction of electricity grids or CO2-free vehicles and buildings.

The study finds that the even furthergoing scenario of a 95 percent reduction by 2050 is unrealistic. In such a scenario, the acceptance of climate protection measures would be put into question by their considerable impacts on society as a whole.

Bock emphasises that the chemical industry supports ambitious global climate protection and intensively contributes to it: “We do so in two ways – with our innovative products and technologies, and in our own production which we bring in an ever more energy and resource-efficient shape.” Bock takes the view that excessive burdens from political decisions are counterproductive for energy-intensive industries: “Politicians should not lose sight of the fact that quite often our products create the conditions for greenhouse gas avoidance by our customers. Therefore it is an integral part of a successful climate policy, to preserve the international competitiveness of energy-intensive industries through compensation measures for additional costs.”

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The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of around 1,700 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2017 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 195 billion euros and employed over 451,000 staff.

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Sebastian Kreth

E-Mail: kreth@vci.de