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COP27: Germany's 2030 climate goals in peril, experts warn

November 4, 2022

Industry and transport were the two sectors most responsible for Germany's sluggish emissions reductions, a government study found. Berlin is also unlikely to meet renewable energy targets.

Fridays For Future | Hamburg
Image: Fabian Bimmer/Reuters

An expert committee convened by the government warned on Friday that Germany was in serious danger of not meeting its 2030 climate goals.

"At the moment it doesn't look like we can reach the targets," Brigitte Knopf, the committee's deputy chair, said at the report's presentation.

"We will definitely not reach the climate targets for 2030 with a 'business as usual' approach," she said.

Berlin had vowed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 65% of 1990 levels by the year 2030. Last year, the country's Climate Protection Act underwent major reforms following a landmark top court ruling that said the law was too vague.

Germany has also vowed to completely exit coal by 2030, but the country recently stepped up production in response to dwindling supplies of natural gas from Russia.

"The annual reduction amount achieved would have to more than double compared to the historical development of the last 10 years," said committee member Thomas Heimer of German emission levels.

The worst offenders, the report found, were the industrial sector and the transport sector. They would have to roll back emissions 10-fold and 14-fold, respectively, in order to meet the targets.

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Goals for renewables also unlikely to be met

Ambitious goals for renewable energy use promoted by the environmentalist Green Party, which now governs in a coalition with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and the business-focused Free Democrats (FDP), are also unlikely to be met. 

A target of 80% of Germany's energy grid being powered by renewables has been hampered by supply chain issues and red tape.

The report found though that the energy sector accounted for some 27% of Germany's emissions reductions from 2000 to 2021. Indeed, energy, construction, industry and transport had made serious strides in the beginning of this time period before drastically slowing down in the past decade.

The presentation came two days before the next of the next World Climate Conference, COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

es/wd (dpa, Reuters)

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