June 4, 2009

Deutsche Bank Leadership Forum in Berlin: Experts call for new industrial revolution to tackle Climate Change

Josef Ackermann: “Climate protection is a major economic factor for the future”

Josef Ackermann, Chairman of the Management Board of Deutsche Bank, said today, that “fighting climate change requires joint efforts around the globe, which have to be in line with economic growth.” Ackermann was speaking at the inaugural Deutsche Bank Leadership Forum in Berlin, an event attended by around 100 Chairmen, Board Members and CEOs from global organisations.

Referring to the conference subject of “Business Opportunities in addressing Climate Change”, Ackermann added: “Climate protection is one of the major economic factors for the future. What we need now are the right provisions and price signals to enable us to offer companies more incentives to increase the speed of innovations with regard to climate and environmental technologies“. He said that climate change is also about taking responsibility and showing leadership. For Deutsche Bank this means responsibility to shareholders, to customers and to society. “And most importantly, to the next generation,” said Ackermann.

Sigmar Gabriel, German Federal Minister for the Environment, said today “if we want to lower greenhouse gases we need a third industrial revolution”. To create this third industrial revolution Gabriel said firstly there needs to be a clear vision of “the route we are taking to enforce innovation” in tackling climate change. He said that it needed intense dialogue between policy makers, industry and society without obstruction from those who wanted to maintain the status quo. Secondly he said governments must create the legal and economic framework to allow innovation to take place.

According to Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, Founding Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the atmosphere is “merciless” in remembering how much carbon has already been released and therefore a dramatic CO2 reduction has to happen soon. Schellnhuber: “The changes needed are on the scale of a new industrial revolution.” Action is needed immediately, according to Schellnhuber, with annual CO2 reductions of between 3% and 4%, but if five years is allowed to pass, the CO2 reduction would have to reach 6% per annum. 

In a poll carried out today of the attending business leaders at the Deutsche Bank Leadership Forum, 94% believe there is currently not enough collaboration between governments and the private sector to deliver market friendly solutions on Climate Change.

Deutsche Bank is aiming to reduce its global CO2 emissions in the next five years by 20 percentage points per annum compared to base year 2007 and to operate its global business activities with zero emissions completely by 2012. The Bank hopes to realize this reduction of its CO2 emissions by way of a permanent improvement of the energy efficiency of its bank buildings and technological infrastructure as well as by increasingly using renewable energies and procuring emission certificates to neutralize its remaining CO2 emissions. Josef Ackermann said in Berlin today that he is pleased by the progress the bank is making.

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