If Germany does not act quickly, the climate target reached at the end of last year will be missed again this year. Berlin Research Center Agora Energiewende figured that CO2Emissions are likely to increase by about 47 million tons this year, the largest increase in the past 30 years.
By 2020, Germany had set itself a goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent compared to the record year 1990. For comparison: The judge in the Urgenda ruling ordered the Netherlands to cut emissions by 25 percent last year compared to 1990, which I mean, it didn’t come true. The German target was achieved: the reduction was 40.8 percent at the end of last year. But for this year, Agora expects Germany to export between 760 and 812 million tons of CO22 It will emit, almost five times what the Netherlands emits. This makes the reduction less favorable compared to 1990: no more than 35 to 39 percent.
According to Agora Director Patrick Graichen, this means that emissions will increase even more than they were after the severe economic crisis of 2008. Graichen regards the rapid decline in emissions in 2020 as a ‘fly for a day’, as a result of the Corona crisis that has affected the Large parts of both sectors when traffic was paralyzed.
Gas price hike
AGORA bases its figures on emissions for the first two quarters of this year. According to the think tank, most of the increase, about two-thirds, is due to the increased demand for electricity. In the first half of this year, this additional demand has already increased 20 million tons of carbon dioxide2. Due to the rising price of gas, highly polluting lignite has become an attractive alternative, despite increasing carbon dioxide.2-price. In addition, 2021 has so far been unfavorable for wind energy. The winds were less gusty than in the same period last year. Moreover, Agora predicts that the increase in traffic after the corona collapse and the recovery in industrial production will cause a lot of additional greenhouse gases.
Parliamentary elections will be held in Germany this fall. According to Gretchen, additional climate measures for the new government “will not only be necessary, but also mandatory,” based on existing climate law. Earlier, the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe ruled that Germany’s climate law does not go far enough because it does not adequately protect future generations.
Especially after Germany was hit by severe floods this summer, which killed more than 150 people and caused losses estimated at tens of billions of euros, German environmental organization Germanwatch is calling on political parties to speak more emphatically about climate policy.
By 2030, Germany has set itself the goal of reducing emissions by 65%. According to the climate agreement, the Netherlands wants them to fall by 49 percent by 2030. According to Germanwatch, emissions must be at least 42.5 percent lower than they were in 1990 by the end of this year to meet the German target. Germanwatch This means, among other things, that Germany should have closed all coal-fired power plants by 2030.
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of August 17, 2021
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