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Progress needed in international climate policy


03 Dec 2018


Climate & Environment
  • Mechanical engineering industry calls for a consistent implementation of the Paris Agreement
  • A global carbon price would allow fair competition worldwide
  • Climate targets can only be achieved through an extended use of efficient technologies
Frankfurt, 2 December 2018 – Three years after the conclusion of the Paris Climate Protection Agreement, the international community must finally make progress in its implementation. Before the start of the world climate conference in Katowice, the mechanical engineering industry warns that hesitant measures against climate change would in the long run be much more serious and expensive for society and the economy than a timely global action. "Waiting is more expensive in the medium term than taking consistent and coordinated countermeasures," says Thilo Brodtmann, Executive Director of the VDMA. "A consistent implementation of the ambitious Paris agreement is a challenge for the economy, but also offers opportunities for European companies due to the increasing demand for efficient technologies".
In the view of the VDMA, the summit must set clear conditions for the consistent implementation of the climate agreement. The VDMA sees the so-called rulebook as the basic building block, in which, for example, uniform requirements for the calculation of emission savings and transparency rules are laid down. "Without a strong regulatory framework, effective global climate protection is not possible. We can only achieve our goals with joint, concerted efforts that remain faithful to the spirit of the Paris Agreement," says Brodtmann. "There must be no dodging by individual states. A pioneering role for Europe is justified, but only if the world market clearly develops in the direction of climate protection”, says Brodtmann. 
Long-term goal: A global carbon price and simplified technology transfer
The mechanical engineering industry believes that in the long-term, far-reaching and globally effective system changes are needed to achieve the climate targets. For example, VDMA urges that the coupling of global pricing systems should be promoted in the future. "A global carbon price, at least at G20 level, would create fair conditions and competition for the best technologies," says Brodtmann. Today, 46 nations have introduced a price on carbon, which together account for around 60 percent of global GDP. "The road towards a global carbon price is long and arduous, but it is worth the effort," says Brodtmann.
In addition, states must also act more globally when it comes to technology transfer. One approach might be that exporting countries could also benefit from the emission savings achieved by providing efficient technologies in other countries. Such systems are already mentioned under the Paris Agreement. This would not only strengthen cooperation between states but would also promote the use of more efficient and climate-friendly technologies.
The mechanical engineering industry not only implements climate policy measures in its own companies, but also contributes to greenhouse gas savings in other industries through the development and dissemination of efficiency technologies. The VDMA has stressed that ambitious climate policy and economic growth can go hand in hand, as long as companies are provided with a clear and transparent framework with early planning security for investments in climate protection.
The VDMA represents more than 3200 companies in the medium-sized mechanical and plant engineering sector. With 1.35 million employees in Germany and a turnover of 226 billion euros (2017), the sector is the largest industrial employer and one of Germany's leading industrial sectors overall.