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The role of private households in the ecological transformation: housing, mobility, consumption Panel III of the “Designing climate policies” series of events hosted jointly by the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Center for Liberal Modernity and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Achieving climate neutrality means fundamentally transforming production methods and the energy system, renovating and decarbonising the building stock and making large-scale investments in public transport systems. Household decisions on housing, mobility and consumption play a key role in this regard. This panel therefore looks at what bearing households can have on the ecological transformation: Where and to what extent can they make a meaningful contribution to the climate objectives? To what degree can a change in household demand help foster climate-friendly innovations on the supply side? What influence do we have in our capacity as consumers?

Surveys show that a majority of the general public regard climate change and the response to it as a key policy issue, but also that they fear financial implications and restrictions in terms of their individual freedom of choice, or even bans.

This discrepancy between what is necessary and what is possible presents considerable challenges for policymakers: How can environmental policy succeed and stake out the necessary long-term framework without losing the support of the electorate? The answer to this question is politically relevant, and it has a crucial impact on macroeconomic variables such as price developments, consumption and investment. Key decisions by households – in particular, concerning housing renovation and decarbonisation and climate-neutral mobility – have a direct impact on macroeconomics.

This panel focuses on the role played by households as economic agents through their consumption and investment decisions and as voters. It complements the topics covered in the two previous panels: the role of enterprises in the ecological transformation and the international coordination of climate policy.

Panel III – online event on 1 February 2022, 15:00-17:00 (CET)

Event language: German

“The role of private households in the ecological transformation: housing, mobility, consumption”

Welcome address
Professor Dr. Claudia M. Buch
Vice-President of the Deutsche Bundesbank
Annette Weisbach
Business journalist, moderator and speaker


Ralf Fücks
Founder and Managing Director of the Center for Liberal Modernity

Professor Dr. Christian Kastrop
Former State Secretary "Digital Society and Consumer Policy" of the Federal Ministry of Justice and honorary professor at the Free University of Berlin

Professor Dr. Karen Pittel
Director of the ifo Center for Energy, Climate, and Resources – Leibniz Institute for Economic Research; professor at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich; and member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU)

Wolfgang Schuldzinski 
Executive Director of the Consumer Association of the Federal State North-Rhine Westphalia