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Putting climate protection into practice: How do we proceed after Katowice?

History was made in the Polish city of Katowice last December. The countries of the world jointly decided how they now want to take concrete action against global warming. Finally, some might be saying. Far too little, others might be saying. MediaMarktSaturn is also aware of its responsibility as Europe's largest electronics retailer.

The years 2015 to 2018 were, according to studies by the World Weather Organization, the four warmest years since records began in the 19th century. And the 20 warmest years occurred during the last 22 years. If matters continue as before, the earth will most likely be three to four degrees warmer by the end of the century. The disastrous effects will vary from region to region: more heat waves, longer droughts and more storms, heavy rain and floods.

Uniform guidelines for climate protection

Time is of the essence. This is why the international community had already set its sights on an ambitious objective for the Paris climate protection agreement in December 2015: It is the common objective to create a greenhouse gas-neutral global economy in the second half of this century and to reduce global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Three years later at the climate summit in Katowice, Poland, almost 200 countries agreed on how they would like to put this into practice. In a two-week negotiating marathon, representatives from 196 countries wrestled to find phrases on how they would like to communicate future plans and progress regarding climate protection.

All countries are therefore subject to uniform guidelines for climate protection reporting as of 2024. There are only interim arrangements for developing countries, which often lack the capacity for detailed reporting. Important detail: The data supplied may not be more than three years old. For example, China had fought to be allowed to report much older information for a long period. Now even the world's largest CO2 emitter must allow scrutiny.

While the negotiators applauded at the end, environmental associations called for more ambitious goals for climate protection and more solidarity with poor countries. Even the Federal Minister for the Environment, Svenja Schulze, together with an alliance of industrialised and developing countries, had called for stronger climate protection. However, she was satisfied that there are now common rules on how countries measure and compare their climate protection performance.

The task is to make sure "that this earth remains habitable. And that is the responsibility of this generation." The President of the Conference, Kurtyka, said that climate negotiations were not about national interests, but about humanity and responsibility for future generations.

Germany: carry on and improve

It depends on every single country. Germany, for example, has actually made good progress and was able to reduce its climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. But in the last few years there has been a lack of progress towards the self-imposed targets. CO2 emissions were supposed to have fallen by 40 percent by 2020, and this target is likely to be only 32 percent (compared to the 1990 levels). There' s no need to throw your hands in the air: The German government is adhering to its next target and intends to achieve a reduction of 55 percent by the end of 2030 compared to the 1990 levels.

There is a lot to do - also for MediaMarktSaturn

Being Europe's leading trading company for consumer electronics, we also want to set an example for our industry when it comes to climate protection. We have set ourselves the objective to reduce the operating energy requirements and the associated CO2 emissions of more than 1,000 markets worldwide as far as possible. To achieve this, the Group is committed to efficient energy management and the continuous modernisation of its stores and administrative buildings.

As of 2012, all Saturn and Media Markt stores have been fitted with monitoring systems with which energy consumption is permanently monitored and optimised. In addition, stores are equipped with the latest smart metering technology and highly efficient LED lighting systems during the regular structural modernisation. In 2017, all markets in Germany were converted to eco-electricity. Nearly 80% of all Saturn and Media Markt stores worldwide now obtain their electricity from renewable energy sources.

With all these measures, MediaMarktSaturn is making an important contribution to achieving one of the central Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations: the Goal # 13 Climate Action.