Berlin Sebastian Schels is too belittling the term “climate change”. The managing partner of Ratisbona Handelsimmobilien considers “climate catastrophe” to be more appropriate. And that’s also the reason why he donated 250,000 euros to the Greens.
“It is my first ever party donation,” Schels told the Handelsblatt. Neither the Greens nor politics as a whole are particularly closely related. But like the Dutch technology entrepreneur Schuurman, who recently transferred 1.25 million euros to the Greens, Schels says: “We have a human task ahead of us, one that we must finally tackle.”
Schels comes from a traditional entrepreneurial family. His grandfather, Michael Schels, laid the foundation stone by supplying small shops with groceries, while his father Rudolf developed the brand discounter Netto. Schels itself specializes in the development and management of grocery stores and specialist market centers.
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“Our way of life, our way of doing business, is a mortgage for the future – today we are socializing the environmental costs to future generations,” says the 40-year-old. He trusts the Greens “to take the necessary measures most consistently and thus to secure the future viability of the economy and our prosperity. To do this, someone has to be crazy enough to apply the knowledge gained from 40 years of climate research. “
Schels sees the regularly raised accusation that the Greens are shackling the economy, even putting shackles on them: “First and foremost, I am a person, secondly an entrepreneur, and thirdly a real estate entrepreneur,” says Schels. As a person and a father of a family, he observes climate change and species decline. “You have to put that into perspective, because there are currently several tsunamis rolling towards us and especially towards the generations to come, a natural disaster in slow motion,” says Schels. “If my children or grandchildren will ever ask me what I did in the 2020s, then I would like to be able to give them an answer that I can be proud of.”
As an entrepreneur, he calculates things through to the end. And it is already clear today that the financial consequences of doing nothing are getting bigger and bigger every day. “Climate protection is not do-gooding,” said Schels. Preserving nature is more profitable than destroying it.
As an entrepreneur, Schels wants to help tear down the “wall of silence”, as he calls it. “In 40 years of climate discussion, we have developed a certain degree of hearing loss because most of the voices that can be heard come from scientists and climate protectors.” Schels is convinced that if people now noticed, “that from a part of society that they do not necessarily expect , Approval and support comes, then that has a great leverage effect. “
It is now a matter of thinking bigger and having the courage to break new ground. “Instead, only triple steps are taken. In politics, it is those who have doubts that dominate. ”Schels calls for a vision, a positive story – even if it cannot and does not have to show all possible solutions. “Even business plans in the economy are not there to be implemented 1: 1,” says Schels, “but they provide a direction, a development path.”
Schels sees its own industry as central. A radical rethink is needed in the real estate industry. Whether apartments, businesses, hotels: It is not only the construction of real estate that is resource-intensive and harmful to the climate. “During operating hours, properties are then heated, cooled, lit, ventilated and managed in an energy-intensive manner and if they are then demolished – often much too early – the majority of the building substance ends up in the landfill.”
Today’s “throwaway properties” showed: “We have forgotten how to build in recent years. Our grandparents and ancestors were still able to circulate and built for generations. ”Schels hopes that the Greens will still be able to turn the polls and be part of the next government. “Every percentage point more is good for the future issue of climate and environmental protection.”
He doesn’t give much to the accusation that the Greens are a ban party. “We are surrounded by prohibitions, most of which we do not even perceive as such.” One of these is the prohibition against driving through a red light on completely empty streets at midnight. In favor of a functioning society, you stick to it. The ban on smoking in restaurants, criticized at the beginning as a restriction of individual freedom, “today most see a benefit”. So it is with more climate protection: “Later we will hopefully be able to look back proudly on having found the courage to have made unpleasant but correct decisions.”
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