26. August 2020

Impacts of climate change and sustainability policies call for greater energy efficiency

Climate change has long ceased to be abstract. It affects private individuals and companies in different ways, directly and indirectly.

In an interview, Peter Herzog, BayernLB's sustainability expert, explains the diverse effects of climate change. For example, companies have to deal with crop losses, a lack of cooling water or an interruption in logistics chains as a result of prolonged heat and drought. At the same time, their plantes are threatened by flooding. In addition, companies are increasingly subject to stricter regulations, including those on decarbonisation. They are also affected by extended emissions trading and CO2 taxes. Since 2017, capital market-oriented companies with more than 500 employees have also been required to make a sustainability contribution

Politicians are facing up to the challenges of climate change. Various projects are designed to bring about an energy turnaround. For example, the European Green Deal and the phasing out coal-fired power stations have been launched to this end.

The European Green Deal

The European Green Deal stipulates that the economy should become climate-neutral by 2050, i.e. no longer emit greenhouse gases. As an interim target by 2030, CO2 emissions are to be reduced by at least 50 percent compared to 1990. The aim is to achieve this goal through various measures. For example, the changeover to renewable energies and energy saving is to be promoted, for example through building refurbishment. Electromobility is to be further promoted, for example by expanding one million charging stations and stricter regulations on pollutant emissions from diesel and petrol vehicles. Higher taxes in the aviation industry are also on the agenda. In addition, the European trade in CO2 certificates is to be expanded. Industry is called upon to produce using clean energy sources such as hydrogen wherever possible. Another measure is to promote the production of battery cells and recycling. Last but not least, the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture and forestry is to be reduced and biodiversity promoted.

Phasing out of cole-fired power stations

One part of the Climate Action Programme 2030 is the phasing out of cole-fired power stations. Under this act, coal-based electricity generation will be reduced step by step. The aim is to shut down all coal-fired power stations in Germany by 2038. According to the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW), almost half of the electricity consumed in Germany in the first half of 2020 came from renewable energies.

Paris climate targets also economically necessary

In a joint study, researchers from Germany, Sweden, Norway and the UK have based their findings on an updated climate protection model by William Nordhaus. It took into account "aspects of intergenerational equity and new calculations of the material effects of the climate crisis". The researchers conclude that the 2-degree target of the Paris Climate Change Convention must also be achieved from an economic perspective, as the economic damage caused by global warming will ultimately be greater than the adaptation costs for climate protection if the agreed climate targets are to be met.

Supporting energy system transformation through greater energy efficiency

Energy system transformation is gaining momentum. Investments in renewable energies and energy efficiency are becoming necessary and are increasingly being promoted politically, for example through support programmes. The cost of energy efficiency measures and decarbonisation is worthwhile if, in return, one considers the economic costs that will inevitably arise from insufficiently reduced global warming.

Energy efficiency is an important component of energy system transformation. With IngSoft InterWatt you make an important contribution to this. Do you want to know what you can do and how you can proceed? We would be pleased to discuss that with you in a person.

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