Michael’s Three Wishes for the Year 2024
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Let’s end our dependance of fossil fuels - now!

According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the climate crisis is the greatest economic risk of the next decade. This is because the global economy has the risk of collapsing by up to 20 percent by the year 2050 as a result of climate change. In Germany alone, between 45 and 65 billion euros are spent on fossil fuel subsidies every year. What a waste and at the same time an opportunity to shift money into clean energy investments.

In the end, the 28th World Climate Conference COP28 in Dubai did not bring the clarity that scientists and many climate activists would have liked. And yet there is no stopping the transition to sustainable energy. Why is it so difficult? We are moving from an energy system with low investment costs but high running costs. We are now in the process of transforming it into a system that is very cheap to run, but the initial investment is very high. And this energy transition goes hand in hand with the mobility transition - the two are inextricably linked. The phasing out of fossil fuels is our main task, the main driver, so to speak, because if we succeed, we will no longer have to court despots and will therefore become more politically independent. Wind, water and solar energy solutions have proven to be cheaper than the dirty deeds of oil or gas, hence climate change policies will succeed in the long run. The problem we face is that time is running out. Therefore my first wish is to see more courage in the transition to a world without fossil fuels, showing your backbone against the efforts of the oil and gas industry and a clear stance against their lobbying, fake news and greenwashing.

Be open to real emotions with electric vehicles

Electric cars are repeatedly accused of not being emotional. Electric car drivers even today still appear in the light of the tech-savvy nerd. The driver of an ICE is actually considered to be the real emotional driver, longing for the smell of petrol or diesel and finding true love in the roar of the exhaust. My answer to this scenario is quite simple: the emotions in an electric car are just different and no less strong. I, for example, feel pure joy when I "start" my electric car and hear the whispering of the tires over the asphalt, slightly murmuring in the efficiently preheated interior.

I would like to see more openness from all those drivers who have so far closed their minds to the innovations of e-mobility. After all, electric vehicles offer without effort exactly what premium manufacturers of combustion vehicles are trying to achieve in a costly way and with an enormous effort: sportiness, acceleration, comfort and ‘sound’. This ‘sound’ is conspicuous by its absence in the electric car and is therefore not only a pleasure for the driver, for all passengers, but most importantly for all other people outside the car.

Green is a trend - Sustainability is a Mindset

I heard this slogan for the first time at the Circular Festival in Munich last November. In 2024, my final wish therefore is for our global community to collectively address the pressing issue of planetary boundaries while fostering a transformative shift in our narrative. It's a year where we will not just acknowledge but wholeheartedly embrace the profound and positive impact we can have on our precious planet. Let us aspire to construct economically viable solutions that not only benefit us but also tread lightly on the Earth.

Circular economy, akin to where digitalization stood in the 90s, is swiftly becoming the new normal today, with passionate change-makers tirelessly working towards its realization. The question that echoes in my mind is, "How can we all become catalysts for such a change?" The answer lies in our collective effort to avoid complacency and embrace the challenge of redefining our relationship with the planet. Together, we can turn this wish into a vibrant reality for our international community, making 2024 a year of profound transformation and sustainable progress. Let’s go circular - it starts with avoiding unnecessary purchases and continues when giving products back. You want a concrete example: how many mobile phones do you, dear MOTION reader, have in your drawer at home?  In Germany alone, more than 210 million mobile phones are hidden in these drawers, that is more than 2.5 phones per German, babies included.

Let me finish by stating that there are great innovators out there helping to combat climate change. Let us support them and let each one of us change our habits a little - one day at a time. Merry Christmas everyone and off to a happy new year 2024!

Photo courtesy of Michael Brecht.