When the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, publicly took stock at the beginning of the year, we were forced to acknowledge that Germany will struggle to meet its climate protection targets by 2023. It confirmed what we had already suspected, namely that the previous government had let lots of issues slide.
In addition to the enormous suffering, the war in Ukraine has also now revealed how dependent we remain on imported energy. For many years, saving energy, diversifying the energy supply and rapidly switching to renewable energies simply did not take priority. I am reminded of the oil crises of the 1970s, which were met with car-free Sundays and speed limits, and can hardly believe that we are in exactly the same situation 50 years later.
So much technology is available today to dramatically reduce our energy consumption: highly efficient heat pumps, electric cars, digital tools to help us save energy. I would recommend reading the books by Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker on this subject. Renewable energies are now much more affordable than all other forms of energy.
So what are we waiting for? Why are so many SUVs still being sold, so few homes being modernised and so few wind and solar systems being built? The major endeavour in terms of energy supply, which was required in any case due to climate protection, must now, at long last, be initiated under dramatically altered framework conditions. After all these years of taking a leisurely approach to energy policy – almost to the point of standing still – a flurry of activity is ultimately needed. Money must be spent – but only for investments in climate protection!