2022 undoubtedly marked a turning point in many ways. This is particularly true of the energy transition: What had previously seemed a distant prospect became possible within a very short space of time. This is the conclusion which the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) draws, looking back at the past year.
The workshop report “Renewing prosperity in a climate-neutral way” which the ministry presented in early March notes: “Within months, Germany had become independent of Russian energy imports, a new energy infrastructure had been set up and continues to expand, and new supply contracts are now being concluded. We acted quickly and pragmatically to secure energy supplies and then to ensure that the energy prices, which were rising rapidly as a result of the crisis, were slowed down.”
There is a Need for Further Drastic Cuts in Emissions
However, at the same time it is clear that there is a lot still to be done. The workshop report also clarifies the large number of measures which must be implemented if Germany’s declared goal of climate neutrality by 2045 is actually to be achieved. Under Germany’s Climate Protection Act, the energy sector’s emissions alone must be reduced to 108 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents by 2030. By way of comparison: In 2021, greenhouse gas emissions in this sector amounted to approx. 247 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents.
The picture for industry is similar. It is currently responsible for almost a quarter of Germany’s emissions. Accordingly, there is a need for massive progress here too in terms of greenhouse gas reductions, and emissions must be brought down to 118 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents by 2030. There is a particularly strong need to act in the building sector. The stipulated emissions limits here were repeatedly exceeded in 2020 and again in 2021.
Targeted Carbon Management Gets Things Moving in the Right Direction
But how can reductions in carbon emissions be achieved? The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action clearly states in its report that a continuous reduction in carbon emissions is impossible without a direct linkage between a renewal of the energy supply and a renewal of value creation in industry. We are likewise convinced that it is not just cooperation between utilities and industry which offers huge potential. In order to achieve a genuine and lasting reduction in carbon emissions, there is a need for absolutely all of the stakeholders involved to pull together: from political leaders via the business sector and the field of public administration to the general public.
The challenges which Germany as a whole faces in relation to the goal of climate neutrality are undoubtedly huge. At the same time, cities and companies should not make the mistake of waiting too long before initiating the necessary carbon reduction steps. Even small measures implemented today can already help cities to achieve large carbon savings. For instance, if municipalities consult comparative data from other cities and thus establish a sufficiently well-founded set of data which enables targeted carbon management, then they can leverage a great deal of potential EVEN NOW.
Lesen Sie die genauen Informationen zum BMWK-Bericht in der dazugehörigen Präsentation. Wenn Sie gerne mehr über unser Geschäftsfeld Smart City erfahren möchten, wenden Sie sich an Dr. Lucia Wright, Senior Consultant und Co-Autorin unseres Smart-City-Rankings.