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Kick-Off Policy Accelerators

Robin Reh


The connection to Brussels has been established, the EU Commissioner is on time. MP Andreas Jung, our advisory board chairperson, is also clearly visible and audible - the best conditions for the successful kick-off of the Climate Innovation Policy Accelerator, hosted by EPICO KlimaInnovation the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

Almost 80 participants from science, business, politics and civil society, including state ministers, members of parliament, company executives, professors and NGO representatives, joined in. And EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, the "CleanTech" Commissioner, who once again reiterated the Accelerator's mission into our hearts with her plea for climate-friendly technologies and innovations: Europe needs innovation - to achieve climate goals, for economic recovery and for global market leadership. "In the past, innovation has often been a natural progression, but in the area of climate action, the stakes are too high and the challenge too great. That's why we need to step up efforts for CleanTech innovation across Europe."

Indeed, the challenges are enormous: almost half of all the additional emissions reductions in 2050 relative to current policy plans would be from technologies that have not yet reached the market today. A market design in need of reform only promotes innovations in homeopathic doses, the market design for hydrogen has not yet been developed, CO2 pricing needs to be further developed as a guiding instrument for market- and innovation-oriented climate protection, and many people are still unaware of what the digitalisation of the energy world can contribute to the energy system of tomorrow and to climate neutrality.

The aim of the Accelerator is to develop the framework for the key areas for climate innovations: market design for renewable energies and sector coupling, digitalisation of the energy transition, the strategy for hydrogen and CO2 pricing. Forty experts selected for the Accelerator will develop concepts in workshops, which will then be constructively critiqued and questioned by over 15 leaders from academia, business, civil society and politics to illuminate any blind spots.

The Accelerator is a format with an innovative method developed in Silicon Valley for achieving profound results in a very short time with its agility and intensity, with the pooling of diversity and expertise from a wide range of fields along with the candid and constructive "challenging" of what has been developed.

The first results from the Accelerator will be presented at our Midterm Event on 24 June 2021. But that's not all. After the summer break, the Accelerator will enter a second round with more topics, experts and challengers. The final highlight will be a bigger event towards the end of the year - hopefully by then once again in person.

EPICO KlimaInnovation will thus start the ramp-up for the Climate Year 2021 in Berlin, Brussels and with an outlook towards the Climate Conference COP26 in Glasgow. After the federal elections in Germany, the course must be effectively set for achieving the 1.5 degree target through innovation. With the concepts from our agile accelerator, we want to contribute and discuss concrete, implementable and socially inclusive approaches that are needed to achieve this goal.