Germany could soon be a step closer to implementing the December’s historic Paris climate agreement with reports it is mulling a target to reduce emissions 95% on 1990 levels by 2050.
Europe’s economic powerhouse joined others this month in calling for more ambitious emission reduction targets in light of the agreement, and a 95% target would add greater momentum to this call.
A leader in clean energy – with nearly 33% of power demand met with renewables last year – Germany’s latest plan would still be a “mammoth task” that would leave “no sector… excluded.”
Eyes will now be on the German government to see its promise through by moving past dirty energy – namely coal – in favour of a cleaner energy future.
- European countries are responding to Paris. As Germany eyes up 95% emission cuts, the UK took its first step towards enshrining the Paris goal of a zero emissions future into law. Last week, EU nations reaffirmed their commitment to ratifying the agreement and many EU environment ministers called on the bloc to go even further and increase ambition levels in line with the deal’s aim of holding warming below 1.5C.
- More ambition means more efficiency and renewables. Renewable energy is winning the race against fossil fuels globally, and Germany’s position out front of this transition has already brought job growth, cleaner air, health benefits and cheaper electricity. But only with more renewable and energy efficiency policies will Germany meet its carbon reduction ambitions and help bring the Paris climate goals closer to reality.
- Germany can not meet its target without ending coal. In 2014, German emissions were 27% lower than 1990 levels, but estimates show that the continued use of brown coal saw CO2 emissions increase last year. Chancellor Merkel’s drive helped the G7’s 2015 call for an end to fossil fuels, but the country will compromise its reputation unless it sees through its plans to end coal.