German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck says more needs to be done if Germany is to fulfil its ESG (environmental, social, and governance) ambitions.

ESG Greener Future

Germany has set out a comprehensive suite of plans to achieve its CO2 reduction goals and dramatically boost its renewables, climate-neutral production and energy efficiency, however, Mr Habeck has underlined that efforts must be doubled.

In a remarkably frank and critical “state of the nation” press conference in Berlin recently, Minister Habeck said that Germany would fall short of its CO2 emissions targets in 2022 and 2023 and would move to immediately accelerate measures across the energy spectrum.

Habeck said:

“We are starting with a drastic deficit. The previous climate protection measures in all sectors are insufficient. But we are doing everything we can to close the gap. We’ll have to triple the speed of emissions reductions.”

While pointing out that Germany had increased its share of renewable energy to 42% in the past 30 years, Habeck said the country had only eight years to realise its goal of 80% by 2030. He criticised stagnating levels of new wind and solar energy facility construction, describing the trend as “going in the wrong direction.”

Habeck emphasised how the government would target exponential increases in renewable energy production. He also announced a legislative package, to be put before parliament this summer, that would include mandatory photovoltaic installations for newly constructed buildings and accelerated construction of off- and on-shore wind turbines on approved sites.

The government said that Germany was targeting wind-energy facilities on two percent of Germany’s square area. The legislation, Habeck said, will also include a revision of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) to make renewables a matter of national security.

It will offer financial support in the form of so-called Carbon Contracts for Difference to companies transitioning to climate-neutral forms of production. Furthermore, it will bolster Germany’s National Hydrogen Strategy and enhance energy-efficiency standards in construction.

Habeck outlined the governments intended measures to increase the immigration of specialists, for example engineers, to ensure the country has sufficient expertise to realise its ESG goals.

He characterised the changes to come as not only a “challenge” but an “opportunity” to ensure Germany’s economy remained “innovative, competitive and prosperous.”

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI), the German government’s international economic promotion agency, stresses that international businesses will be able to profit from the recalibration of government policy, particularly if they are on the ground in Germany.

GTAI CEO Robert Hermann, said:

“It’s highly unusual for a German government to be this critical of the status quo and this specific about what will be done about it.

“All the change means major new chances for agile and innovative domestic and international companies that can help Germany reach its climate goals,” Hermann added.

GTAI Director of Energy, Construction and Environmental Technologies Thomas Grigoleit, said:

“The climate protection plans represent a historical chance. They will provide powerful impulses in all areas of the energy economy. We expect rapid growth in solar and wind energy installations, in hydrogen production and in energy efficiency.

“This is a gigantic challenge, but one that also opens up new avenues for domestic and international companies to develop, produce and of course market innovative sustainable products in Germany,” Grigoleit added.