International Climate Forum of the Hamburg Business Community

Hamburg’s economy is aiming for climate neutrality by 2040 while maintaining its international competitiveness. This ambitious but achievable goal was developed in a joint study by the OECD – OCDE and Hamburg. The study “Climate Neutrality for Hamburg’s Economy by 2040” was presented to an audience of around 800 guests during the International Climate Forum of Hamburg Business at the Chamber of Commerce. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen appeared as guest of honour.

The study identifies opportunities for action in various economic sectors. Its main thesis is that climate neutrality can strengthen the international competitiveness of companies and locations – and Hamburg’s economy is already taking this path. Many companies in Hamburg already have their sights set on achieving climate neutrality.

President Norbert Aust explains: “Back in 2020, we set ourselves the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2040. Although economic conditions have deteriorated since then, investing in climate neutrality is now crucial to strengthen the international competitiveness of companies and the location. Hamburg’s economy is well positioned to capitalise on these opportunities and position itself internationally.”

In her keynote speech, the President of the European Commission, Dr Ursula von der Leyen, emphasised the role model function for the whole of Europe: “Other major European cities can learn from Hamburg and its Chamber of Commerce. But we, the European Commission, can not only offer you something, but also learn from your experiences. That is why we want to bring chambers of commerce together regularly at EU level to exchange experiences. The European Green Deal has set the framework. But we can only make progress if we work together and join in at all levels. This is exactly what the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce is doing. This requires team spirit, courage and perseverance. With your well-known Hanseatic foresight, you have seized the opportunity. The Agenda for Hamburg 2040 combines ecological responsibility with economic opportunities.”

Thank you very much for the invitation to the International Climate Forum of Hamburg Business. It was an honour to take part in the panel discussion on “International Competitiveness and Climate Neutrality: The Example of Hamburg” and to represent the perspective of Hamburg’s SMEs.

The discussion provided valuable insights into the link between competitiveness and climate protection.