German companies to profits from climate doom

10th April 2007, Comments 0 comments

10 April 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The prophets of climate doom may predominate on the country's television screens, but many German companies are beginning to look to the profits to be made from beating the threats posed by climate change. German Federal Environment Agency head Andreas Troge has just outlined the need to spend 4 billion euros (5 billion dollars) a year now to avoid costs 20 times that amount within a generation. "If we are to halt global warning, we have to cut the emission of greenhouse gases

10 April 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The prophets of climate doom may predominate on the country's television screens, but many German companies are beginning to look to the profits to be made from beating the threats posed by climate change.

German Federal Environment Agency head Andreas Troge has just outlined the need to spend 4 billion euros (5 billion dollars) a year now to avoid costs 20 times that amount within a generation.

"If we are to halt global warning, we have to cut the emission of greenhouse gases by 80 per cent by 2050," Troge told the mass circulation Bild newspaper.

But Munich-based business consultancy Roland Berger saw the advantages to Germany's vibrant eco-industrial sector.

Germany, already the world's top exporter, would experience an export-led boom in providing environmentally-friendly technology to a world desperate to take advantage of its well-established lead in the sector, company head Burkhard Schwenker said.

Speaking to the the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, Schwenker predicted turnover of 1,000 billion euros for the green sector by 2020, much of it in exports.

Germany is a world leader in green technologies that range from hi-tech refuse sorting to solar power cells. Almost half the world's wind turbines contain German technology and every third solar cell carries the "Made in Germany" stamp.

Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who has commissioned an eco- atlas from Roland Berger, believes a "Third Industrial Revolution" is under way, with Germany in the lead.

The Association of Renewable Energy estimates its members exported to the tune of 6 billion euros last year, up 30 per cent on the year.

Roland Berger consultants believe that by 2020, more families will be living off the income provided by green-tech than from machine tools or vehicle production - long the mainstays of the German economy.

Environmental technology already employs a million people, according to a survey by the company, and competition for skilled personnel is stiff.

German companies are eyeing China with special interest. China's energy needs are estimated to be rising by 20 per cent a year, and the population is suffering the polluting effects of inefficient coal-fired electricity generation.

Huge opportunity beckons for providers of coal-based clean power. Germany is world-leader in generating electricity from low-quality lignite (brown coal) and in cutting the harmful emissions.

China also faces problems with water purification and refuse disposal. Here too German companies believe they have solutions.

Gabriel is to present his eco-atlas at the G8 summit to be hosted by Germany in the northern resort of Heiligendamm in June.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged she will push for drastic action to counter climate change.

As the German chancellor takes the moral high ground, executives of German green-tech firms will have their eyes firmly on the turnover figures.

DPA

Subject: German news

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