4 July 2022, by Jakob Strobel, Thomas Frisch, Theresa Rötzel
Photo: C. Privato
First symposium of the D°GREES project
An integral part of the CLICCS B4 project on the decarbonization of the economy (D°GREES) is the cooperation with corporate and academic project partners. At the end of June, a first symposium took place in Hamburg. The event aims at bringing together all parties involved in the project and enhancing exchange among them.
Originally, it was planned for 2021, but had to be postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the project team was delighted to be able to hold the meeting this year. With the presence of company representatives from the US, Brazil, Japan, and Germany, the participant list reflected the international reach of the project and promised interesting debates. As the representatives from Hong Kong could not participate in person due to travel restrictions, some of the presentations and workshops were organized in hybrid formats.
The symposium kicked off on Wednesday, June 29 with a welcome speech by project chair Prof. Timo Busch and project coordinator Dr. Matthew Johnson, followed by a brief introduction round of all participants. Prof. Jochem Marotzke set the scene with a keynote on "Global CO2 emissions reductions and the Paris Agreement: Insights from IPCC AR6" reminding all present of the urgent need to bring emissions down to net zero. Over the course of the day, participants discussed challenges and opportunities of corporate decarbonization in three interactive sessions, which were moderated by project chair and CLICCS spokesperson Prof. Anita Engels. The following sessions covered the topics: corporate climate reporting and target setting; major challenges of corporate deep decarbonization; and facilitators and supporting factors for deep decarbonization. Each session gave a brief summary of academic literature and presented preliminary observations from interviews with the companies taking part in the project.
On June 30, the symposium participants reassembled in the morning to head towards Altenwerder for a guided tour around the world’s first climate-neutral container terminal. The tour provided unique insights into how large quantities of containers are handled and how this can be done in a sustainable manner. In the afternoon, the symposium participants were welcomed by representatives of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, who generously offered its facilities to host the second keynote speech by Prof. Dr. Stefan Aykut on "Corporate Climate Action: Insights from COP26 in Glasgow". After the closing remarks and a feedback round, the event came to a close with networking and informal discussions during dinner on the Chamber of Commerce's rooftop terrace.
Feedback from the participating company representatives conformed that the symposium was very successful and yielded valuable insights for both researchers and company representatives. It was great to see the willingness of all parties to further engage in fruitful cooperation in order to better understand and support the decarbonization of the economy. The D°GREES team is looking forward to future cooperation.
More information: D°GREES project page