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29 October, 2021

Transition to carbon neutral energy supply and more resilient water supply is indispensable

Statements by the members of the DVGW Managing Committee on the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow
Logo; © COP 26
Press Release - 29 10 2021

The question of how to rein in the consequences of climate change is one of the biggest challenges currently faced by the international community of states. If we fail to limit global warming to 1.5 °C, the effects of climate change that are already palpable in many areas will increase in magnitude. A swift transition to a carbon neutral energy supply is therefore indispensable; at the same time, critical infrastructures like water supply systems must be made more resilient to the impact of climate change, which can be felt already today. The concrete steps to be taken in order to achieve the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement are some of the most important subjects on the agenda of the UN “Glasgow Climate Change Conference”, which begins next Sunday.

This induced Prof Gerald Linke, Chairman of the DVGW Managing Committee, to state that “This time we have no choice but to succeed in confronting climate change head-on, especially when considering our responsibility for future generations. The energy industry plays a crucial part in this and lives up to its responsibility by swiftly making the transition to carbon neutrality. The ongoing development of renewable energy sources is of particular importance in this respect. If we want a reliable supply of energy and wish to achieve the 1.5 degree target set by the Paris Climate Agreement, there is no way around using carbon neutral gases like hydrogen more widely, which in turn requires the rapid development of a global hydrogen market. While the technical means that enable the broad use of hydrogen have long since been available, it is now up to politicians to put everything on the right track. We expect the new Federal Government to allow market access for players who trade hydrogen produced from carbon neutral sources, e. g. by defining a concrete goal or carbon neutral gas quotas, similar to what it did with power from renewables.”

Dr. Wolf Merkel, Member of the DVGW Managing Committee responsible for water, draws attention to the palpable impact of climate change on Germany’s water cycle. “The recent years of drought and the devastating floods in July 2021 are palpable manifestations of climate change. A sustainable, reliable supply of water therefore requires taking adequate adaptation measures to accommodate the conse-quences of climate change, even though we have hardly suffered from supply bottlenecks so far. Maintaining a high reliability of supply requires protecting our water resources, providing sufficient quantities of high-quality drinking water through sustainable water supply management, devising a viable water infrastructure and ensuring that drinking water takes priority over all other uses of water. We appeal to politicians to join forces with the industry to lay the basis for the future of water”, says Merkel.

The DVGW supports the international efforts to combat global climate change and its impact. Its extensive research programmes into hydrogen and a viable water supply are especially noteworthy in this context. The DVGW research programmes help advance innovation in the gas and water sector and implement the transition to a carbon neutral, resilient supply of energy and water.

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