The industry associations of the seven largest western economic powers (G7) call on the governments to found a climate club.

"The G7 must give the go-ahead for the rapid alignment of international climate protection ambitions," said the President of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Siegfried Russwurm, to the Reuters news agency.

"The B7 support the idea of ​​an open and ambitious climate club."

Russwurm is also currently President of the so-called "Business 7" (B7), which is the economic equivalent of the political G7, which includes Germany, France, Italy, Japan, Canada, Great Britain and the USA.

Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz had suggested the climate club, with which more speed in climate protection should be achieved.

There, countries should agree on comparable efforts to reduce CO2 emissions from industry.

This could avoid distortions of competition, for example when using more expensive non-fossil fuels such as hydrogen.

The EU Commission, on the other hand, has proposed a CO2 border tariff to protect companies from competition from Asia, for example, in the event of stricter environmental regulations in Europe.

Germany in particular sees this as hardly practicable and skeptical as possibly in conflict with free trade in the world.

A voluntary climate club could show a way out.

Berlin should promote the topic

Since Germany has held the G7 presidency since the beginning of the year, Berlin can push the issue - for example at the meeting of the G7 environment, climate and energy ministers that begins this Wednesday.

"The B7 strongly supports the idea of ​​aligning the climate targets of the G7 countries," says a strategy paper by the business associations available to Reuters.

"We therefore welcome the further exploration of the concept of the 'climate club', which aims to accelerate industrial decarbonization, as announced by the German G7 Presidency."

It is of great importance that the climate club is designed to be “inclusive and cooperative”.

In principle, it should be open to every country.

"The entry thresholds for such a climate club should therefore be kept low in the introductory phase in order to attract as many countries as possible," the paper says.

"At the same time, the Alliance should show a high level of ambition to be of global relevance and have a positive impact in the medium to long term by addressing carbon leakage issues." Developing countries wishing to join should receive technical and financial support.

In general, the focus of this alliance should be on the benefits of membership rather than punishing non-members.

Conversion to liquefied natural gas

Russwurm demanded that governments must think about climate policy efforts to secure and diversify the energy supply from the outset.

"In view of the war in Ukraine, this applies in the short term to the supply of liquefied natural gas in particular," he said.

"At the same time, the fastest possible expansion of renewable energies and the supply of hydrogen must be promoted."

The decarbonization of companies is not only a huge challenge, but also a great opportunity for countries and industries.

"The G7 urgently need to agree on internationally coordinated support for climate-friendly hydrogen production, the corresponding transport capacities and infrastructure," Russwurm demanded.

"In order for the markets for the global decarbonization of industry to emerge, the group of states must develop a common understanding of green raw materials, such as green steel or cement."