"Energy system transformation now" - joint appeal to the federal government by the state government, employee and employer associations

Politics, companies and employees are all pulling together in Lower Saxony - in a joint appeal, Lower Saxony's Energy Minister Olaf Lies, the Lower Saxony Employers' Associations (UVN) and the German Trade Union Federation in Lower Saxony (DGB) are urgently calling on the Federal Government to draw up a future economic stimulus package with a view to important climate policy goals. "In view of the foreseeable state investments of billions of euros after the Corona crisis, we need a climate policy economic stimulus package as a driver for the economy more than ever before", emphasised Minister Lies, UVN General Manager Dr. Volker Müller and the Chairman of the DGB District of Lower Saxony - Bremen - Saxony-Anhalt, Dr. Mehrdad Payandeh, in their joint appeal: "Energy turnaround now!

"The economic stimulus programmes of the Federal Government and the Länder will be of decisive importance for the stabilisation and revitalisation of the German economy - and that for the next decades", emphasises Energy Minister Lies: "Precisely because this is how the future of our country is shaped, billions of euros must be invested in climate-friendly technologies and products so that after the Corona crisis the urgently needed jobs for the markets of the future are created". "The energy turnaround is the most important product on the global agenda. The corona crisis also means a hard blow for the economy and the millions of workers in particular. This is precisely why it is so important to reorient the economy in the long term: more sustainable and climate-friendly - both at federal level and in Lower Saxony," the joint appeal adds: "The world must become a different place. People need a sustainable environment, we all need a "Green Deal" not only in Europe, but especially in Germany". And with a view to the approaching drought period throughout Germany, Environment Minister Lies warns: "The first few months of this year already clearly show us again how much the climate is changing. We already have to fight intensively with the consequences, but above all we must take consistent steps to ensure that the advancing climate change is slowed down. Climate protection is also a great opportunity for the economy. If we don't act, everyone will lose.

The UVN, the trade union umbrella organisation and state politicians propose a whole range of concrete measures for the restructuring of the economy and society in order to orientate the energy supply towards more renewables and more energy saving and thus to open up perspectives for companies and employees:

Dr. Volker Müller makes it clear: "Climate and environmental protection require a competitive industry, innovative products and means of production at a competitive price. The desired climate neutrality requires a significant increase in our innovations and investments, a significant expansion in the generation of renewable energies, a significant expansion of the electricity grid, the expansion of hydrogen production plants, the use of the existing gas infrastructure and an infrastructural coupling of all energy consumption sectors". A European and national economic stimulus package in the wake of the pandemic could make a significant contribution to promoting innovation, production and the use of climate-friendly technologies, adds Dr. Müller: "To this end, urgently needed framework conditions such as the national hydrogen strategy, research and development that is open to technologies and materials, shorter development, market maturity and approval processes, innovative financing approaches and market mechanisms, and even more opportunities for cooperation would have to be adapted in advance. In addition, it is essential to protect intellectual property and business secrets. The business community is happy to provide support with very concrete proposals".

Dr. Mehrdad Payandeh underlines the great importance of investing in the future: "In the current crisis it is crucial to stabilize the economy and secure jobs. However, there is an immense need for investment in Lower Saxony, and not just since the corona pandemic. It is therefore high time to shift the lever and use future investments to drive the necessary socio-ecological change in our federal state. Growth, good work and decarbonisation are not contradictory. When Lower Saxony becomes the No. 1 state for renewable energies, for example, there will be massive growth opportunities for innovative companies and sectors. At the same time, it is crucial for consistent climate protection not only to maintain the existing value-added chains in Niedersachsen, but to expand them and make them fit for the future. Every economic and investment programme in Europe, at federal level or in Niedersachsen must focus on economic, ecological and social sustainability. In its own interest, the state of Lower Saxony must push ahead with such an investment offensive which modernises our federal state and creates good work at tariff conditions. The future can be shaped. The future must be shaped. Because nothing comes from nothing!"

Environment Minister Lies added in the run-up to the Conference of Energy Ministers: "Investments in low CO2 technologies mean a boost for climate-friendly technologies. At the same time, the economy and consumers must be relieved of excessively high taxes and charges, for example by significantly reducing the tax and duty burden on the electricity price to the minimum permitted under European law. And it is precisely future technologies such as green hydrogen or synthetic fuels that must now be vigorously promoted. The pure electricity turnaround must become a real energy turnaround with green electricity and green gas. To do this, however, we need above all sufficient renewable energies. At least with an annual increase of around 4.5 gigawatts of wind power on land, the expansion of photovoltaics without a 52 GW cover, an expansion of offshore wind energy in Germany in the order of 40 GW by 2040, the rapid expansion of electricity grids and a smart grid infrastructure, local value creation through the participation of citizens in wind farms and the massive expansion of storage technologies".

Investments and the improvement of the regulatory framework must go hand in hand. Then, Energy Minister Lies is convinced for all three signatories of the appeal, "Lower Saxony can become both the ecological economic engine of Germany and the guarantor of full employment under good working conditions".

Text: Nds. Ministry for Environment, Energy, Building and Climate Protection

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)