More than 60 companies are urging the German government not to give up climate targets under the green agreement. Their words come in relation to the economic fight against coronavirus. Many of them are part of traditional industries. Companies warn the state not to succumb to those for whom ecology is an obstacle in meeting economic goals.
At first glance, a letter from dozens of companies could be likened to a classmate who signs up at the end of a lesson to remind the teacher of homework. In a statement, companies such as Puma, Allianz, and E.ON call for the maintenance of climate commitments. Even though the economic crisis will break out due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We call on the federal government to closely link economic aid measures to overcome both the coronavirus and climate crises,” said in a statement.
Among the signatories, however, are not only companies that have been lobbying for the climate for a long time. On the contrary. There are also companies operating in the chemical industry, mechanical engineering, the automotive industry. But also groups from the financial, construction, and electrical engineering sectors. At the same time, they usually draw more attention to the burden on environmental measures.
The biggest leading a proper route
One of them is, for example, the largest German steel and technology company ThyssenKrupp. As part of the initiative, Bernhard Osburg, the company’s head of the steel division, called for the economic stimulus program to be in line with climate needs. The Salzgitter AG steel group again mentions the effort to replace carbon in the production of steel with hydrogen, from which the CEO of Joerg Fuhrmann has high hopes.
Not even one of the German plastics manufacturers Covestro is left behind. “The goal is to make the economy more resilient to the crisis. Moreover, more competitive with a truly sustainable, climate-neutral future,” said Markus Steilemann, CEO. So, it is a signal from traditional industrial companies. They do not want politicians to abandon climate protection in the shadow of the coronavirus crisis. The signatories call on politicians not to succumb to the urging of those companies for which the coronavirus crisis is an obstacle to meeting climate action in the past.
Green Deal should come after the coronavirus crisis
There are a few groups that demand the opposite of what the statements of the sixty companies do. Opposition voices include the ACEA’s European Automobile Manufacturers Association. A month ago urged the European Union to postpone the introduction of climate regulation. Airlines are calling for an exemption from fuel taxes. The plastics industry is calling for the ban on certain plastic products to be lifted.
Some European politicians are also in favor of suspending climate action. The question mark hangs over the so-called Green Deal. A package by the European Commission to help make the European economy more sustainable and greener. “The green agreement was a huge challenge for the economy, which was just in top shape. However, it will not be viable after the coronavirus pandemic, “said German MEP Markus Pieper for Focus magazine.
Green Agreement should become a smart agreement
The German industry association BDI, for example, has a neutral opinion. He acknowledged the need to adhere to certain climate goals but warned that governments, companies, and households would have very little investment available in the future. “The Green Agreement should become a smart agreement in which growth, employment, and ambitious climate goals are effectively combined in one package through smart investment and economic aid,” said BDI Deputy Director Holger Loesch.
The call came to the German government on Monday, when a meeting of 30 European environment ministers called the Petersberg Climate Dialogue began. It was to indicate to the European states whether their economic recovery plans would be compatible with the Paris Agreement, which they signed in 2015, and in which they undertook to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.