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Germany Shoots Wide on Emissions Target, Says New Report

Despite strong measures aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions across the country, Germany is in danger of missing its 2020 reduction target. It's been overly optimistic, say experts.

Cows standing in front of a coal power plant's cooling towers

The report's authors would like to see more efficient power plants

A lofty goal -- to slash CO2 emissions by 40 percent from levels recorded in 1990 -- was announced last summer ahead of the G8 summit in Heiligendamm.

But a new study commissioned by the German Green party suggests these goals -- part of an "integrated energy and climate program" may be more ambitious than the measures aimed at reducing the greenhouse gases. The study, conducted by the environmental institute Ecofys, suggests that with the changes already in place, the country will only be able to reduce emissions by 28 percent over the next decade.

Ueber-optimism from Berlin

According to the report, an 18 percent decrease in emissions should already have been noted. But with the "Meseberg Package," a series of laws considered the core of German climate change policy, the report's authors see a savings of just 10 percent.

A gas pump

The study advocates a greater use of biofuels

The newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Wednesday that the study's authors, a group of climate and environment experts, attribute the shortfall to optimistic assumptions and the subsequent pejoration of legal regulations.

Energy plans lacking, say experts

They find it "urgently necessary to develop more effective measures" to reduce the output of the greenhouse gases. Among the areas that the study's authors believe the government needs to pay specific attention to is energy.

They believe the plans for developing more efficient power plants have "not been ambitious enough." Likewise, energy usage needs to be cut dramatically.

The report also recommends that the share of biofuels be increased and the regulations sanctioning the renovation of buildings loosened in order to increase the country's chances of meeting their 2020 goal.

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