German industry, unions, environmentalists call for better carbon management

By Reuters

January 11, 2024 at 12:39 PM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The German government needs to provide clear guidelines for carbon capture and storage (CCS), a new alliance of unions, industry and environmental groups said on Wednesday, citing a need to tackle emissions that currently cannot be avoided.

Members of the group, which do not usually work together on environmental issues, include trade union group DGB and the Federation of Industry (BDI) as well as environmental campaigners WWF and NABU.

They urged the Berlin government to map out a strategy to encourage participation in carbon capture and to provide strict quality criteria aimed at transforming industries to protect the climate.

"Successful sustainability requires change rather than sticking with what is known," a joint statement distributed by WWF said.

Germany's Economy Ministry is already working on a carbon capture and storage strategy with a view to removing legal obstacles to handling CO2 emissions from industry locations to transport them to sites, which include depleted hydrocarbon fields under the North Sea.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper first reported on the move that highlights a change of tack among these groups.

Environmentalists have been fighting hard against the concept of underground or subsea CCS because of security risks and because it might prolong fossil fuel usage.

The group said the priority was to avoid and reduce CO2 emissions, but it was right to accept CCS as a means to maintain existing industrial processes and to attract investment into green technologies.

Germany wants green electricity to account for 80% of its energy mix by 2030 and to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

But the country will have trouble meeting industrial energy demand for electric energy by drawing on wind and sunshine, said Viviane Raddatz, WWF's Director for Climate & Energy Policy.

"We are still a long way from reaching our target as far as the expansion of renewable energies is concerned," she said.

E.ON, Wintershall DEA and RWE are among companies eyeing possible projects with Norway and other partners.

(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Rachel More and Jane Merriman)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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