2020 may be over now, but this year will, however, stay with us for a long time. We haven’t got over the pandemic yet, behind the European economies a huge mountain of debt is building up and, not least, in Brussels diverse political plans, like, for example, the setting of more ambitious climate policy goals, have been put in place. This will take its toll on our industry.
While large parts of public life stood still in 2020, production continued busily in the brickworks. We are proud that the construction industry has again been able to prove itself a stabilizing force across Europe in times of crisis. Despite the difficult circumstances, we in Germany have managed to close the year with positive figures. Unfortunately, we still can’t rule out the impact of Covid19 still hitting our industry with full force. It is therefore important particularly for this reason to remain optimistic, but without losing sight of reality.
2021 will be a defining year. The upcoming Federal German parliament election as well as several state parliament elections will indicate how Germany is set to navigate the coming decade with regard to economic and environmental policy. We, as the clay brick and tile industry, stand ready to make an active contribution to enable sustainable and affordable construction. Within the context of energy-efficiency-oriented building refurbishment, enormous CO2 saving potential remains, for this reason the European Commission has called for a “wave of renovation”. Parallel to this, we as an industry have to face up to climate policy goals. With our roadmap to climate neutrality by 2050, we shall show what is technically feasible and where we need political support or a goal-oriented range of supports to be able to produce competitively in Germany. Here we are counting on active dialogue with the political decision-makers.
Unfortunately, it is currently still uncertain whether it will be possible to meet up personally at the Tiles and Bricks Europe (TBE) Congress in Berlin in June. Whether analogue or digital, communication and solidarity in these turbulent time is the ticket for the clay brick and tile industry heading into the direction of the future. And with this in mind, I am looking forward to working together with you.
Yours Stefan Jungk
President of the Federal Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry