By FRANK JORDANS, Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) – Dozens of leading German companies have urged the country’s next government to put in place ambitious policies to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
In an open letter on Monday, 69 companies said the next government must put Germany “on a clear and reliable path to climate neutrality” with a plan to do so within the first 100 days of its mandate.
The signatories included chemicals giant Bayer, steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and sportswear company Puma.
The center-left Social Democrats narrowly beat the Union Conservative bloc of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel in last month’s elections. They are due to meet with the Green Party and the pro-business Free Democrats on Monday to discuss forming a coalition government.
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“Climate protection has been the decisive subject of the federal elections and the parties must place it at the top of their agendas in the construction of the new federal government,” said Michael Otto, chairman of the board of directors of the sales company by correspondence Otto Group and president of the 2 Degrees Foundation. , who organized the letter.
Earlier this year, the Merkel government adopted a plan to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2045, five years ahead of schedule.
But official figures show that Germany is lagging behind in its greenhouse gas reduction ambitions, with 2021 emissions set to rebound sharply after an economic slump linked to the pandemic.
The foundation, which says its members have an annual turnover of around 1,000 billion euros ($ 1.6 trillion) and employ more than five million people worldwide, wants the next government to support the deployment of renewable energies and enact climate-friendly tax reform that includes a strengthened carbon pricing system to prevent investments in energy-intensive industries from going overseas.
Referring to the upcoming UN climate summit in Glasgow and Germany’s chairmanship of major Group of Seven economies next year, the companies said the government should also work to set international standards for the global financial system and climate neutral products.
“As businesses, we are ready to play our central role in climate action. We call on the new German government to make the transition to climate neutrality the central economic project of the next legislature, ”they said.
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