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Wissmann: Germany needs longer-term climate and industrial policy

Berlin, 18 January 2018

VDA President on BDI study “Climate paths for Germany”: only a coordinated policy for climate and industry will benefit the climate and Germany equally

“The automotive industry has a clear vision: vehicles of the future will have zero emissions, and not produce either CO2 or pollutants. The path to this goal needs political conditions that are open to all technologies and reliable in the long term. An effective climate policy must be designed so that it also strengthens Germany as an industrial location,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA). He was speaking in Berlin at the presentation of a study commissioned by the Federation of German Industries (BDI), entitled “Climate paths for Germany.” Wissmann emphasized, “Climate policy and industrial policy must go hand in hand. We in Europe therefore support a CO2 regulation that takes account of the market success of alternative powertrains. So it is right that Europe should not introduce a quota for electric vehicles. We also advise against short-term interventions in the sophisticated German tax system. And the potentials of synthetic fuels from renewable energy must be put on the political agenda.”

The study clearly reveals how ambitious Germany already is when it comes to climate protection. “All the measures already adopted will result in our greenhouse gas emissions being 61 percent lower in 2050 than they were in 1990,” Wissmann explained. The automotive industry will make a considerable contribution to this. By 2020, CO2 emissions from the new EU vehicles will be almost halved in comparison with 1995, from 186 g down to 95 g. This showed, Wissmann said, that climate protection with modern technologies was working. For this reason, transport should not become even more expensive. He strongly rejected any suggestion of a CO2 tax.

Wissmann called for moderation in the ongoing efforts on climate protection: “A 95 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 cannot work as long as the national economies we are competing against pursue completely different climate policies. Even the 80 percent target will place huge demands on the economy.” He added that such ambitious requirements need the right political flanking measures. So a 15 to 25 percent share of electric vehicles in Europe by 2025 would be attainable only if industry and policymakers joined forces.

Wissmann rejected the idea of national reduction targets of several tonnes for individual sectors: “The sector targets for the period up to 2030 do not make good steering tools. And the study presented today shows that we should do without them. Bans are counterproductive because all technologies are needed. Internal combustion engines in particular make a large contribution to decarbonization when running on synthetic fuels.”

Eckehart Rotter
Eckehart Rotter Head of Department Press

Tel: +49 30 897842-120 Fax: +49 30 897842-603
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