In this report, the WBGU explains the reasons for the desperate need for a post-fossil economic strategy, yet it also concludes that the transition to sustainability is achievable, and presents ten concrete packages of measures to accelerate the imperative restructuring. If the transformation really is to succeed, we have to enter into a social contract for innovation, in the form of a new kind of discourse between governments and citizens, both within and beyond the boundaries of the nation state.
Financing the Global Energy-System Transformation
Policy Paper 7
The world faces the challenge of a global transformation to sustainable energy systems. Substantial up-front investments are needed to improve energy efficiency and switch to renewable energies. At the same time, these investments offer great opportunities, because strategic innovations can be triggered and new markets can develop in the course of the transformation process. Savings on the cost of fossil fuels in conventional technologies could completely offset the investment in renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency by as early as 2040. The private capital needed for the transformation is available and can be mobilised if a suitable political framework is put into place. A corresponding regulatory policy should be introduced to make such investment more attractive for the private sector. The WBGU advocates a proactive state that integrates energy, environmental and climate policy; this could reduce existing investment risks by developing a stable, long-term transformative regulatory framework. At the same time, policy makers should expand the opportunities for participation.
Climate Policy Post-Copenhagen: A Three-Level Strategy for Success
Policy Paper 6
International climate policy post-Copenhagen is in crisis. There is currently no prospect of the comprehensive and binding UN climate treaty – the outcome hoped for at the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference – being achieved within the foreseeable future. However, in order to keep the global mean temperature rise below 2 °C by the end of the century, a resolute course must be set in the international climate process within the next few years. more...