The Science Academy Leopoldina appeals to the government to take climate protection more seriously. The "critical point in time" for achieving the Paris climate targets would soon be passed. Hydrogen is to be the central building block in the future energy system.
The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina is urging the federal government to be more ambitious and consistent when it comes to climate protection. What is particularly important is "clarification of the framework conditions for investments and their reliability," explained the Leopoldina in Berlin in relation to the discussion paper it had drawn up. "At the same time, incentives and specifications should bring about more efficient use of energy," it said.
In the discussion paper "Principles for the Transformation of the Energy System", the scientists warn that Germany and the EU must not "miss the critical point in time" when changing course in order to still achieve the goals of the Paris climate protection agreement. The time window for this will close soon. "Decisive action is all the more necessary as the consequences of climate change are becoming more and more noticeable," warns the Leopoldina.
"An important instrument in climate policy should be the expansion of European emissions trading into a uniform, transparent, long-term sustainable control framework that encompasses all emissions," the paper continues. The authors place particular emphasis on the expansion of the hydrogen economy however, natural gas will still be needed as an energy source for a transitional period.
Since the energy system of the future will be largely based on electricity, but the energy yield from wind, solar and hydropower is fluctuating, hydrogen as a "material energy carrier" must play a central role, the paper says. This should be generated everywhere "where the generation of energy from photovoltaics or wind energy is very inexpensive". It will also be necessary to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.