Munich has received the German Federal Environment Ministry award for “Innovative and exemplary strategies for the implementation of municipal climate protection.”
One of nine municipalities to win such an award, the city was signaled out for its Munich for Climate Protection Alliance, established in 2007. One of the alliance’s partners was Siemens.
“As an active alliance member, Siemens made a substantial contribution to our city’s receiving the municipal climate protection award by providing us with the study ‘Munich — Paths toward a carbon-free future,’ ” said Munich Deputy Mayor Hep Monatzeder. “We plan to incorporate the study’s key findings into our climate plan.”
In the study, the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy was also commissioned by Siemens to develop scenarios for Freiham, a new Munich district, that will likewise be included in the concrete plans. Siemens has commissioned a further study for the so-called European Green City Index — an analysis of 30 European metropolises.
Siemens is currently preparing this European Green City Index in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is headquartered in London. The new study aims to determine the extent to which the 30 cities’ environmentally compatible infrastructures — in the areas of energy supplies and building, traffic and water systems, for example — have already been developed or can be further developed.
The study will also present best practices in climate protection and sustainability from which other cities can learn. The findings are set to be published before the end of this year.
After London, Siemens, in partnership with an independent research institute, looked at sustainable climate protection for Munich and suggested concrete ways of reducing CO2. According to Siemens, the Bavarian capital is in a position to reduce its CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent by the middle of the century without impairing the population’s living standards.
While over the next few decades it will cost €13 billion to improve the energy efficiency of almost all Munich’s buildings, at the same there will be an expected €30 billion decrease in energy costs. Based on a sample district of Munich, the analysis describes the changes in the infrastructure and technology that will create a nearly carbon-free city. The main levers are energy-efficient improvements for buildings, greater use of public transport, electric vehicles and increased reliance on renewable energies involving low CO2 emissions.
Since 2007, more than half of the world’s population has been concentrated in cities — and today these are already responsible for 80 per cent of CO2 emissions.
“As well as industry, cities in particular must play a pioneering role in climate protection,” said Barbara Kux, a member of Siemens’ managing board and the company’s chief sustainability officer. “They are currently not only the main cause of climate change, but will also suffer most from the consequences. Urbanisation and climate change are two megatrends for which we can provide valuable solutions with our innovations.”