Sibiu/Bukarest/Allendorf (Eder), 14.05.2019 - During the special summit meeting of the 27 EU member states in Romanian Sibiu last Thursday, EU heads of state and government did everything they could to demonstrate unity. But there were still different positions on EU reform and climate protection. German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled great sympathy for the Macron proposal to make the EU CO2-neutral by 2050. At the same time, however, she made it clear that there were plans in Germany to deviate from this. Only a few days later, at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue on 14 May 2019, the Chancellor made a slight course correction and announced that she would discuss achieving Germany's greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050 in the Climate Cabinet.
As one of the leading international manufacturers of energy systems, the Viessmann Group, together with 20 energy ministers and other industry representatives, had already signed the so-called "Bucharest Declaration on a Sustainable and Intelligent Gas Infrastructure" in Europe in April.
"This declaration is a signal that gas will be part of the solution with which Europe will meet its energy challenges," said James Watson, Secretary General of the Eurogas industry association, at the informal two-day meeting in the Romanian capital.
The signatories recognise that "tackling climate change requires coordinated and courageous action by all public and private sector actors to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the global average temperature rise well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and will do their utmost to limit the temperature rise to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels".
Furthermore, the signatories to this initiative also recognise that "increasing the share of renewable and decarbonised gases in the EU's energy mix over the next decades would help to achieve the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions".
They are also convinced that the gas infrastructure must play its role in decarbonizing the energy system by preparing to transport growing proportions of gases other than natural gas, such as hydrogen, biomethane and synthetic methane.
Viessmann has signed the declaration because the company is continuously transforming itself from a heating technology manufacturer to a solution provider for the entire living space. Viessmann develops air-conditioning solutions that provide people's surroundings with the optimum room temperature, hot water, electricity and good air quality in equal measure. In its Integrated Solutions range, Viessmann seamlessly combines products and systems on the basis of the right energy sources via platforms and digital services.
In addition, there are a number of additional services. Wherever technically possible, Viessmann already relies on renewable sources, and in all other cases fossil fuels are used as efficiently as possible. Founded in 1917, the family-owned company attaches particular importance to responsible, long-term action, and sustainability is firmly anchored in its corporate values. And this is reflected in the company's mission statement "We create living spaces for generations to come". Designing living spaces for tomorrow's generations is the responsibility of the Viessmann family, which has 12,000 members worldwide.
Background: 2020 Gas package
The European Commission has started to reflect on the future role of gas in a low carbon energy system and is preparing a new package of gas laws in 2020 to promote the production of low carbon gases such as biomethane and hydrogen. The decarbonisation of gas "will be one of the key drivers of energy policy" for the next Commission after the May European elections, EU officials said ahead of the Bucharest meeting.
Gas network operators have accepted the EU's decarbonisation targets and say they are currently working on network development plans for 2050 based on a CO2 budget and zero emission scenarios. These plans will be drawn up together with electricity network operators to exploit synergies between gas and electricity networks.
"And that automatically means that by then there will be no more fossil gas in the mix," says Jan Ingwersen, Managing Director of ENTSOG, the European network of gas transmission system operators.
Apart from Solidpower (manufacturer of fuel cells), Viessmann is the only equipment manufacturer to sign the declaration. Other signatories are: Siemens, Engie, Equinor, Uniper, GRTgaz, Michelin, Mitsubishi Schwerindustrie and several trade associations such as DVGW, Eurogas or Hydrogen Europe.