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The silhouette of a coal power plant in Germany during sunset
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/J. Stratenschulte

Germany awarded 'shameful' climate prize

December 8, 2018

An environmental activist group has blasted Germany's climate record at the UN climate talks in Poland. It cited Germany's love of coal and failure to meet its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


Germany has received the Climate Action Network's (CAN) negative "Fossil of the Day Award" for failing to meet its emissions targets and support a more ambitious climate agenda.

The environmental protection group announced the "shameful" award on the sidelines of the COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland, where countries from around the world are discussing how to apply the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

CAN said the German government had admitted at the conference that it would miss its 2020 target to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 8 percent compared to 1990 levels. The country had planned to reduce its emissions by 40 percent.

No more coal for climate

CAN also cited Germany's failure to develop a national plan or set a date for phasing out coal and its reluctance to end European Union-wide coal subsidies or support more ambitious EU climate targets.

"Germany has become a climate laggard and puts the brakes on the EU's climate ambition," CAN Director Wendel Trio said.

Switzerland ranked second for the award, CAN said, citing its efforts to block more funds for green projects in developing countries.

Poland won the Fossil of the Day on Tuesday for promoting coal and failing to increase its climate pledges.

Responding to Germany's win, Greenpeace Executive Director Jennifer Morgan said the German government needed to "lead rather than serve" its coal and automobile industries.

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