Cli­ma­tic hot flashes

Two degrees are hard­ly noti­ce­ab­le to the average per­son. But while the human sen­so­ry organs care litt­le about this tem­pe­ra­tu­re incre­a­se, Mother Earth and her gas shell are get­ting migh­ty hot. This is a deve­lo­p­ment that the 2° Foun­da­ti­on wants to pre­vent as far as pos­si­ble. Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct recent­ly joi­ned the foun­da­ti­on. A visit to the foun­da­ti­on will exp­lain why.

Miki­ya Hei­se, Sabi­ne Nal­lin­ger und Ange­la Josephs (

Site visit to Ber­lin. In kee­ping with the the­me, shirts and pants are sti­cking to the sul­try air in the capi­tal. The wea­ther fore­cast pre­dicts atmo­s­phe­ric trou­ble in the sou­thern parts of the coun­try. But in the office of the 2° Foun­da­ti­on, it’s beara­ble. This is not due to the lack of air con­di­tio­ning, but much more to the refres­hing spi­rit that the acti­ve peop­le here exu­de.
We have an appoint­ment with Sabi­ne Nal­lin­ger and Miki­ya Hei­se. The two are the foundation’s mana­ging direc­tor and press spo­kes­man, and they not only want to exp­lain the objec­ti­ves of the Ber­lin-based enter­pri­se. They also want to tell us what they expect from Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct, the spon­so­ring company. 

UPDATE: The goals of the Foun­da­ti­on 2° are hono­r­able and on everyone’s lips. But what kind of foun­da­ti­on or orga­niz­a­ti­on are you?

Nal­lin­ger: We are a lob­by­ing orga­niz­a­ti­on. A lob­by­ing orga­niz­a­ti­on for cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion. Our goal is to keep glo­bal war­ming well below two degrees. As the latest IPCC report again impres­si­ve­ly demons­tra­tes, we don’t have much time left to do that. And we are an orga­niz­a­ti­on that is get­ting very spe­ci­fic.
In the foundation’s foun­ding pha­se, we still some­ti­mes had to exp­lain that cli­ma­te chan­ge exists at all; that was not self-evi­dent. The dis­cus­sion in recent years about cli­ma­te tar­gets was also good and important, but that too is now over. We have to take action in Ger­ma­ny, in Euro­pe and globally.

UPDATE: Recent­ly, the cli­ma­te tar­gets have been tigh­te­ned up. Ger­ma­ny wants to be cli­ma­te neu­tral by 2045. That is a who­le 24 years. Ever­yo­ne wants to pro­tect the cli­ma­te, but anyo­ne who wants to turn the gaso­li­ne pri­ce screw, for examp­le, will feel the wrath of the peop­le or their share­hol­ders. Are we not still in a pha­se whe­re con­cre­te chan­ges are also in com­pa­nies like to be post­po­ned to the day after tomorrow?

Nal­lin­ger: Yes, of cour­se. But the pres­su­re is gro­wing. Com­pa­nies are com­ing to us that no lon­ger want to be the dri­ven bogey­men, but want to take the lead. We have an expli­cit man­da­te to dri­ve the­se com­pa­nies, to give them impe­tus to move for­ward with their goals.
We are clo­se­ly inter­lin­ked with envi­ron­men­tal asso­cia­ti­ons as well as with poli­ti­ci­ans and decisi­on-makers in busi­ness and admi­nis­tra­ti­on. We keep the dia­log open and can media­te, even bet­ween very con­flic­ting inte­rests, such as bet­ween Green­peace or BUND and ener­gy-inten­si­ve indus­try. This does­n’t always hap­pen in the public eye, but it is extre­me­ly important in order to real­ly make a difference. 

UPDATE: If one is lik­ed by all, he hurts no one. Is the foun­da­ti­on 2° arbitrary?

Nal­lin­ger: No. But we are mode­ra­tors. And they have to remain capa­ble of dia­lo­gue. That inclu­des envi­ron­men­tal groups and sci­en­tists, uni­ons and indus­try, asso­cia­ti­ons and the demo­cra­tic par­ties. We have to make sure that the doors don’t clo­se. The worst thing would be if the wil­ling­ness to talk bet­ween the play­ers were to break down.
But we are not arbi­tra­ry, we are not giving up our posi­ti­ons. We dri­ve the com­pa­nies. We defi­ne posi­ti­ons and initia­te pro­ces­ses that some­ti­mes mean pain­ful chan­ges in the respec­ti­ve com­pa­nies. If we were too radi­cal, we would lose our role of moderation.

UPDATE: How does the foun­da­ti­on find out what the com­pa­nies are actual­ly doing?

Sabi­ne Nal­li­ni­ger, Exe­cu­ti­ve Direc­tor Stiftung2°

Nal­lin­ger: That is inde­ed not so simp­le. We now have 31 com­pa­nies on board. Our job over the next few years is to work with the indi­vi­du­al com­pa­nies to deve­lop their path to cli­ma­te neu­tra­li­ty and to sup­port them along the way. And always adap­ted to the respec­ti­ve situa­ti­on on site or to the needs of the dif­fe­rent sec­tors. To do this, we need open­ness and trans­pa­ren­cy towards us.
But we are not con­trol­lers. We want to work tog­e­ther to deve­lop the tool­box that com­pa­nies need for the path to cli­ma­te neutrality.

UPDATE: Known again – how do you pre­vent the 2° Foun­da­ti­on from beco­m­ing a cover for green­wa­shing, i.e. cli­ma­te-neu­tral cover?

Nal­lin­ger: In fact, we are very unsui­ta­ble for green­wa­shing, becau­se it is not in its­elf an achie­ve­ment to be accep­ted into the foun­da­ti­on as a spon­so­ring company.

UPDATE: It works after all. We are here and report on our own com­mit­ment. And so far, no one has been on site in Blom­berg to see what we are real­ly doing. But in the media it said: Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct is com­mit­ted to the Foun­da­ti­on 2°.

Miki­ya Hei­se, Press Spo­kes­man Stiftung2°

Hei­se: That will always be with us, of cour­se. It will beco­me more attrac­ti­ve for com­pa­nies to join the 2° Foun­da­ti­on. In the begin­ning, com­pa­nies that got invol­ved with us still felt the pres­su­re from the indus­try or the asso­cia­ti­ons. That’s tur­ning around com­ple­te­ly, now ever­yo­ne wants to out­do each other in the green sec­tor. In our last report, we took stock of whe­re our com­pa­nies stand in terms of cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion. But also: Whe­re are the obsta­cles, what is still lacking, and what sup­port do they need along the way?
Nal­lin­ger: Every trans­for­ma­ti­on needs part­ners. And when it comes to cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion, indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons are not the first port of call, but rather an orga­niz­a­ti­on like ours that credi­b­ly repres­ents its goals. We stand exclu­si­ve­ly and only for cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion, for not­hing else. It makes no sen­se to join us publicly and then do not­hing else – that would pri­ma­ri­ly reflect on the com­pa­nies themselves.

UPDATE: You talk about a com­mu­ni­ty of fun­ding com­pa­nies. How does this com­mu­ni­ty work?

Nal­lin­ger: First­ly, actual­ly through mee­tings here on site, which take place regu­lar­ly at mana­ging direc­tor and owner level. Then in pro­jects such as “Weg in die <2°-Wirtschaft,” which we laun­ched four years ago tog­e­ther with futu­ro­lo­gists. The ques­ti­on was how and how quick­ly the eco­no­my will have to chan­ge in a 2° world and how com­pa­nies can pre­pa­re for this. We set the frame­work for the topics of buil­dings, mobi­li­ty and indus­try: one year’s time, cross-sec­tor ide­as. The result was eight con­cre­te pro­jects. Aldi, Tele­kom and EnBW, for examp­le, came tog­e­ther and tur­ned par­king spaces that are empty at night in front of super­mar­kets into electric char­ging sta­ti­ons, sup­plied with green electri­ci­ty and orga­ni­zed with an app deve­lo­ped by Tele­kom. A new busi­ness model.
Some­thing like this has signal cha­rac­ter. The task is so big that we have to tack­le it tog­e­ther.
Ano­t­her pro­ject was just publis­hed in the spring, tog­e­ther with AGORA Ener­gie­wen­de and the manage­ment con­sul­tancy Roland Ber­ger and 17 com­pa­nies from the ener­gy-inten­si­ve indus­try. The­re were indus­tries as diver­se as cop­per, steel, che­mi­cals and uti­li­ties. We iden­ti­fied twel­ve poli­cy instru­ments that com­pa­nies need for the trans­for­ma­ti­on to cli­ma­te neu­tra­li­ty. The docu­ment has attrac­ted a lot of atten­ti­on, both in the Bun­des­tag and in Brussels.

UPDATE: Does par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on in this high-level indus­tri­al com­mu­ni­ty also crea­te com­pe­ti­ti­ve advan­ta­ges? Here hea­vy­weights come tog­e­ther on unusu­al ter­rain, the­re the exchan­ge is pro­mo­ted yes.

Nal­lin­ger: That can hap­pen, of cour­se. But that’s per­fect­ly okay, and it does­n’t get in the way of what we’­re try­ing to do, which is to act tog­e­ther to pro­tect the cli­ma­te. We have to think in a com­ple­te­ly new way. I hear it from indus­try: This is the next indus­tri­al revo­lu­ti­on. It needs new alli­an­ces.
Hei­se: Com­pe­ti­ti­ve advan­ta­ges for cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion, that’s what we’­re aiming for. And ever­ything that is crea­ted here in a joint effort will be publis­hed. We are not an eli­tist busi­ness club, but of cour­se we wel­co­me new value chains, new alli­an­ces, new coope­ra­ti­ons. Cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion as a busi­ness model – that is one of our goals. If money can be made from cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion, then so be it!

UPDATE:What role does Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct play in this, what input can our com­pa­ny provide?

Nal­lin­ger: What we need is the most con­cre­te insight pos­si­ble into cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion on site. Whe­re is the shoe pin­ching, which pro­ces­ses need spe­cial atten­ti­on, what is alrea­dy being done? How does Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct want to beco­me cli­ma­te neu­tral and what does it need on this path? Can we help with sci­en­ti­fic sup­port or make obsta­cles visi­ble so that the right poli­ti­cal cour­se can be set?

We can make a sub­stan­ti­al con­tri­bu­ti­on to achie­ving the Paris cli­ma­te targets.

CEO Frank Stüh­ren­berg on the com­mit­ment to the 2° Foundation

UPDATE: On which topic is the Foun­da­ti­on 2° cur­r­ent­ly par­ti­cu­lar­ly engaged?

Nal­lin­ger: The amend­ment to the Rene­wa­ble Ener­gy Sources Act makes it more expen­si­ve for com­pa­nies to con­su­me the electri­ci­ty they pro­du­ce them­sel­ves than to buy it from out­side. So if a lar­ge com­pa­ny deci­des today to pro­du­ce green electri­ci­ty its­elf, it is de fac­to pena­li­zed for this effort. This is how fos­sil fuels are mas­si­ve­ly pro­mo­ted. That has to stop. Immediately.

UPDATE: Who is fas­ter – poli­tics or industry?

Nal­lin­ger: Clear­ly the indus­try. The­se com­pa­nies are on the move inter­na­tio­nal­ly, watching the chan­ging mar­kets very clo­se­ly. That does­n’t just app­ly to the Ger­man per­spec­ti­ve. All mar­kets are moving, some­ti­mes the USA is ahead in terms of cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion, some­ti­mes Chi­na and some­ti­mes Euro­pe. Natio­nal per­spec­ti­ves are play­ing less and less of a role.

UPDATE: Who bra­kes this development?

Nal­lin­ger: Many busi­ness and indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons. The ZVEI is an excep­tio­nal asso­cia­ti­on in a posi­ti­ve sen­se. And also still some repre­sen­ta­ti­ves of the lar­ge government par­ties.
Hei­se: That is also one of our tasks. When the new cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion tar­gets were announ­ced, the­re were immedia­te­ly sharp dis­sen­ting voices from the indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons. So we asked our com­pa­nies to com­ment. They objec­ted and spo­ke out clear­ly in favor of the agreed cli­ma­te tar­gets. But they also named what it would take for us to achie­ve the­se goals. The­re is not just one voice in business.

UPDATE: How does this mis­per­cep­ti­on come about from poli­ti­ci­ans and indus­try asso­cia­ti­ons who belie­ve that busi­ness does not want cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion? Is this the Ber­lin ivory tower?

Nal­lin­ger: You can see right now that cli­ma­te pro­tec­tion is sim­ply not sui­ta­ble for the elec­tion cam­pai­gn. Tho­se respon­si­ble should actual­ly be say­ing: Peop­le, the chan­ge in the eco­no­my is necessa­ry and it has its pri­ce. Ins­tead, they keep announ­cing new goals without say­ing what the path to achie­ving them will look like.
We have to take a more long-term view; we’­re tal­king about bil­li­ons of euros in invest­ments that will have to be made befo­re the end of this deca­de. For this, com­pa­nies need plan­ning secu­ri­ty today, for which the next federal government must crea­te a reli­able and secu­re frame­work. And we are per­sist­ent­ly pur­suing this, tog­e­ther with our fun­ding com­pa­nies. So also with Phoe­nix Con­ta­ct. (aj/lo)
Empowe­ring the All Electric Socie­ty
Zei­ten­wen­de – Inter­view mit Roland Bent

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