Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard welcomes the guests and members of the Board of Trustees.
Prof. Claudia Kemfert from DIW and Ernst Rauch from Munich Re discuss challenges of the energy turnaround.
10 years Munich Re Foundation

Munich Re Foundation celebrates 10th anniversary

The Munich Re Foundation can be proud of ten years of successful work: Reason enough for Munich Re to invite friends and project partners of the foundation to an anniversary’s forum on 23 June 2015. Keynote speaker of the evening was energy economist Prof. Claudia Kemfert.

Congratulations
The host of the evening, Munich Re CEO Dr. Nikolaus von Bomhard, congratulated the foundation on its successful work over the last decade, and spoke about its early days: The foundation's guiding principles were formed out of the vision "Knowledge obliges: From Knowledge to Action". "Since then, the foundation has established itself firmly within the national as well as international landscape of charitable foundations." It has realised numerous projects, achieved its goals set and driven sustainable solutions forward. Dr. von Bomhard expressed his gratitude to the Chairman of the foundation Thomas Loster and his team for their hard work, and wished them lots of success for the next ten years. The foundation's activities, he said, are an important component of Munich Re's sustainability strategy, which is understood and pursued throughout the company.

Ten years of "From Knowledge to Action"
"A lot has happened since our launch in 2005." Thomas Loster has been there from the start, and he presented a brief overview of current and past projects of the foundation: We have held microinsurance conferences in many regions of the world, lecture series in Munich to increase awareness, and we have released more than 100 publications on prepardness for natural catastrophes, climate change and resilience. We have set up flood warning systems and fog nets, awarded internationally recognised prizes in the field of disaster preparedness, launched, supported and fostered education projects at schools and universities. The list is long and illustrious. "We managed all that because the foundation’s team works hard every day with passion and commitment," Thomas Loster explained. He thanked his colleagues for their many years of outstanding cooperation.

Presentation on the energy transition: Reality and promises 
The topic of Prof. Claudia Kemfert's lecture was the energy transition from the energy-economic point of view. As an important industrialised country, Germany has to take over a leading role here. 

The right steps have to be taken in the energy sector, she said, if we want to achieve the two-degree goal. The strategy must not only be targeted at new sources of electricity. Processes also have to become more efficient. At the same time, coupling with heat plants will play a much greater role. So the energy transition is also a transport and heating transition, Kemfert said. Surprising for many in the audience was the fact that in Germany, 47% of the contribution from renewable energy is driven by municipal and civil initiatives, while only around 12% comes from the large, established energy utility companies and 41% from strategic investors. This decentralisation is a great opportunity for the local authorities. 

She went on to say that it would be a mistake of the political sector and media to constantly emphasise the cost of the energy transition, and that not nearly enough attention is paid to the economic benefits: Around 200,000 jobs will be created directly by the transition – and countless more in related value chains.

After her presentation, Ernst Rauch, head of the Corporate Climate Centre of Munich Re, discussed the energy and electricity mix in Germany and Europe with Prof. Kemfert. The podium experts agreed that "(...) the energy transition also has business relevance. Munich Re is well prepared and has set up the applicable competence teams." Germany would be well advised to take the interests of other states and regions into greater account, and not to neglect the global view of the energy transition. Even if there may be obstacles and the costs are high, the benefits outweigh them. There is no alternative to the energy transition if the two-degree objective is to be upheld: worldwide and hopefully above all in Germany!

 

MM 9 July 2015

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