Our vision for a global economy without greenhouse gas emissions, powered by 100% renewable energies: digital, democratic and climate positive.
We are living in a period with record temperatures, water shortages leading to crop failures, deforestation, species extinction, weather extremes, and climate refugees displaced by drought and flood. This cannot go on - we must set a course for living in harmony within the boundaries of nature.
We believe that the world has to be and also can be completely powered by renewable energies by 2050 - and in some regions as soon as 2030 - and that this has to be done on the basis of a circular economy, in which there will be reusable resources, shared goods, and hardly any waste. Our planet is rich with abundant nature, clean water, and vital resources, all of which are essential for the survival of future generations.
We believe that by 2050 we will live in a different world. A world that has transitioned to clean energy and a sustainable, regenerative economy.
Heating systems have been replaced by sustainable technologies and are operated by renewable resources. For example, we provide heat by using heat pumps, fuel cells, or solar thermal systems and synthesize sustainable fuels.
Electricity supply comes primarily from wind and solar energy, but also from geothermal, hydropower, or biomass, which is locally generated in open spaces close or produced on a de-centralized basis using roof panels. These methods are backed-up by short-term and long-term storage systems.
Gas infrastructure is repurposed, using existing pipelines and storage facilities to provide renewable energy in the form of hydrogen for long periods of time in case of regional shortages (or emergencies).
International energy network connections unite our countries and continents, allowing us to help each other by balancing out any regional energy overproduction and shortages.
Digitalization helps us to optimally manage our energy requirements and to connect renewable energy plants (as well as storage facilities) to consumers.
Our transport systems have not only become cleaner, but more automated and more comfortable too:
We travel regionally and to neighboring countries mostly by trains or buses, which are powered by electricity or hydrogen.
Logistics, aviation, and shipping are also powered by batteries, hydrogen, or other CO2-neutral fuels.
Long-distance journeys are considered as either normal working hours or vacation time, as even personal transport is largely automated.
For shorter distances, we have a variety of digitally networked options available, such as (e-)bikes, e-scooters, lightweight e-cars, e-drones, and public transport.
The majority of vehicles are shared between people and therefore spend more time in motion than stuck at a standstill. By reducing the amount of land used for parking, we benefit from a significant increase in both urban and rural space. Furthermore, digitalization helps us to not only make optimal use of our infrastructure and space but also to reduce traffic by making better use of the many available forms of transport.
The opportunities for sustainable development offered by digitization have already been made use of in many areas. In general, we need far fewer physical goods and resources to achieve the same standard of living: this is because we mainly share instead of own, we consume virtually, and we produce any remaining physical goods that we need with 3D printers at home ourselves.
Digitalization helps us to operate as a sharing economy, where we efficiently share the use of existing buildings, tools, transportation, clothing, and other everyday items - reducing the numbers in circulation as well as the transaction cost for users.
When it comes to the creation of new goods, we operate under the principles of a circular economy:
where possible, we repair what is broken, extending the product’s lifespan
otherwise, we dismantle goods which have reached the end of their lifespan, in order to use its individual parts for new products
beyond this, there is very little waste left at the end of this cycle because we use mainly biodegradable raw materials (grown using a digitally-managed, site-differentiated basis and cultivated in an ecologically responsible way)
lastly, the non-renewable resources still required are used intelligently and efficiently in a closed-loop supply chain, facilitated by digital information technologies
Ultimately, the economic growth of the last few decades did not depend on the consumption of the environment and its resources: with the help of digitalization, we were able to create the foundation for an economy which brings prosperity to people while respecting nature.
This is how we imagine a sustainable future of the world. Some countries and regions have already achieved a great deal on their way there, but in order to avoid irreversible climate tipping points, we still urgently need to significantly speed up our actions in order to achieve a climate-neutral world and economy.
Since 2015, the world has been missing the annual goals for necessary CO2 reductions by far and currently, we are moving into a 3-4 degree Celsius scenario for 2050, which will have disastrous consequences for human civilization.
Therefore, we call for the immediate stop of any subsidies into fossil fuels and the establishment of an effective Greenhouse Gas pricing applied on the regional, country, and ideally global levels, which will stop new investments in fossil energies, disincentivize existing fossil energy use, and incentivize investments in renewable energy. This should be in parallel with supporting developing economies to grow in accordance with sustainability principles, establishing a financial equalization without damaging the climate further.
Until greenhouse gases are banned on a global scale (like CFC was 30 years ago as an ozone-depleting chemical), regions and countries will implement carbon border taxes that allow them to shield their economies against imports of cheaper goods from other countries where the price is kept low by lack of effective greenhouse gas taxes. The offsetting of greenhouse gases only works if they are truly avoided, not simply produced somewhere else and imported instead.
In any case, offsetting can be only a transition strategy, since we need to combat the source and not the symptoms of greenhouse gases. Therefore, expansion towards 100% renewable energy and natural GHG sinks, such as reforestation must continue as quickly as possible on a global scale, ensuring that harmful emissions are not only taxed but also actively avoided and removed.
Individual countries, regions, and companies are not entirely responsible for the global climate and cannot create solutions on their own. However, we cannot wait any longer for someone else to act; we must take responsibility now and adopt a pioneering role. After all, environmental and climate protection is the preservation of humanity for future generations. As digital leaders, we stand for this transformation, not at all costs, but instead in line with our core democratic values and personal data privacy.
As forward-thinking entrepreneurs across the world, we say: we can do it! What we need is a can-do attitude and moonshot thinking. Climate protection is an opportunity for the economy - it creates jobs and gives us a stable future, enshrining inclusive healthcare, infrastructure, and land use.
As Leaders for Climate Action, we not only demand rigorous and rapid political action for effective climate protection, but we make our own contribution too. We are not perfect, but every day we take concrete steps to move our companies closer and closer towards climate neutrality and sustainability.
Every new entrepreneur and investor who joins us brings us one step more towards this vision of the future. So, become a Leader for Climate Action by signing up to our Green Pledge and help us spread the word!