The Clean Energy Forum (CEF) is a new, independent think tank. It is committed to German, European and global climate goals – which will only be achieved by unleashing all forms of scientific, technical and economic potential. The CEF provides a platform for the open exchange of scientific and technical knowledge and, moreover, connects this exchange with the concrete experiences of people in business and society.
New thinking for a new time
The next few years will determine whether Germany and Europe will actualize effective climate policy that goes hand-in-hand with competitiveness and prosperity. The Clean Energy Forum addresses the geostrategic and developmental significance of energy and climate policy. We look for ways to diversify our energy and raw material sources, and we want our work to contribute to new climate partnerships with key countries.
Platform for technology and markets
The Clean Energy Forum provides a platform for sharing scientific, economic, and technical insights. This platform will help pave the way for a society that combines environmental sustainability and decarbonization with political freedom, prosperity for all, and social justice.
We bring together thinkers, visionaries, experts and practitioners from business and academia to work together to advance new and more effective solutions. With technical innovations, with market-based incentives and with targeted research funding.
Today, the global energy mix is still 80% fossil. The Paris Accords' climate targets and the decisions of the European Union and in Germany require a rapid expansion of renewables. But renewables alone will not be enough to achieve the climate targets and meet the huge, steadily growing energy needs of households, industry and transport.
Innovation beats prohibition
We urgently need to mobilize all available technologies in order to achieve our climate targets. We need a policy that promotes innovation. We do not yet know many of the technical possibilities of tomorrow. We will not achieve our climate goals through governmental micro-management and sector regulation but by being open to new technological possibilities. The CEF provides a forum for scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, managers, NGOs, and policymakers to discuss their ideas in an objective dialogue. It aims to inform and to help ensure that new technological solutions are heard, understood, and considered fairly. A new innovation dynamic can only unfold without prejudicial prohibitions.
Linking Climate and Industrial Policy
New and more effective solutions must ultimately be turned into products by industry. In addition to technical innovation, this requires market-based incentives, a reliable framework for long-term investment, and targeted research funding. Sustainable transformation can only succeed hand in hand with industry. To this end, a decisive impetus must come from industry.
The Inflation Reduction Act in the USA is an example of how to intelligently combine climate and industrial policy. The legislation promotes all climate-neutral technologies using market economy instruments. As a result, the USA could soon leave us far behind in climate technology and in meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets. In response to America's economic push for energy innovation–which has enormous appeal around the world–we in Europe need to unleash our own innovation and creativity.
Climate policy requires global alliances
The Clean Energy Forum addresses the geostrategic and developmental significance of energy and climate policy. We need a strategic trade policy to achieve our climate goals. Through our work, we want to contribute to new energy and commodity alliances with key countries.
Any responsible climate policy must look beyond national and European borders. We must also be willing to learn from others and not believe that the entire world is ready to follow us. We need global best-practice partnerships at eye level. Against this background, Europe must abandon the idea that we are the global model for making climate protection and economic competitiveness a reality. We must accept that others are doing it well too.
People and governments in less-developed parts of the world are not waiting for lectures from industrialized countries but rather for concrete technologies and realistic ideas that will enable them to combine their growth ambitions with sustainability. The fight against climate change will not be decided in Europe alone but in the growing economies of Asia, Africa and Latin America as well.
Platform for open discussion
The Clean Energy Forum cooperates with think tanks worldwide to define „best practices“ and initiate common learning experiences. We aim to think outside the box in regard to European climate policy and look for global solutions to global problems.
The crucial aspects of the CEF's work are
- Continuing the more than 150 energy talks at the Reichstag held so far
- Explaining complicated technical climate technologies by experts
- Studies and strategy papers on the potential of technologies
- Talks between scientists and politicians from business and government
- Dialog forums about new possibilities in energy policy
- Publications with questions or policy-recommendations for politicians