Winfried Kretschmann

Opening words
By Winfried Kretschmann
Minister President of Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg has recognized the signs of the times: historical challenges like climate change, the decline of fossil fuels and natural resources, as well as the nuclear power phase-out in Germany call for re-thinking in politics, the economy and society. Our current standard of living must not be at the expense of nature. Instead we must put sustainability into practice in our actions and business activities and thereby, sustain what sustains us. The objective of the government of Baden-Württemberg is therefore to combine ecology and economics.
As a major automobile and research state in Germany, Baden-Württemberg attaches particular significance to the further development of sustainable mobility concepts. We must succeed in making road traffic as climate-friendly and resource-saving as possible in order to achieve the goal of emission-free driving. We want to turn Baden-Württemberg into a showcase and a region which pioneers intelligent and sustainable mobility.
A key element is the expansion of electric mobility: in close cooperation with science and industry, we want to exploit synergies, expand our existing strengths optimally and increase our expenditures on research and development (R&D) in order to make electric mobility more visible and above all, also more "tangible" - that is, suitable for everyday use. The government of Baden-Württemberg intends to pursue this course by investing 50 million euro in the next four years in the "Landesinitiative Elektromobilität II" to build the necessary infrastructure, implement measures promoting research and technology transfer as well as in procuring electric vehicles. In order to ensure that the electricity required for re-charging is generated by renewable energy sources, the state government is simultaneously working on expanding electricity generation from renewable sources, such as wind power.
However, we must not stop here, but must simultaneously promote hybrid technology and an alternative transportation concept. Road, rail, public transport, cycling and car-sharing offers must be better networked and controlled. New, environmentally-friendly mobility solutions and technologies are real export hits. Last but not least, our industry and science will also profit from our pioneering role in this field.
My sincere thanks are therefore due to the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI) for organizing and conducting the Eu-SPRI conference in Karlsruhe. With this conference, they are contributing towards finding solutions for the most urgent problems of our society, which certainly include the realization of sustainable mobility concepts. Hence, I am very happy to act as patron for this conference. I wish the event every success and all the participants stimulating discussions and new insights.

12–13 June 2012
Karlsruhe, Germany


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