Germany missing 2020 climate target “a bitter defeat for climate politicians“ – env min state sec
Germany will definitely miss its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, which is a “bitter defeat for climate politicians,“ said Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the environment ministry, at the annual conference of the German Industry Initiative for Energy Efficiency (DENEFF). Even further measures, such as an accelerated shutdown of 7 gigawatts of coal power capacity as proposed during the coalition talks after the 2017 elections, would not have changed this fact, he said.
“We won’t regain our international credibility by withholding or postponing things, only if we do those things correctly in the future that we’ve done wrong in the past,” said Flasbarth. Germany must close the action gap to reach its 2020 target as fast and as much as possible.
The coalition agreement between the conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD) is a “good basis” for this, said Flasbarth. During the coalition negotiations, the introduction of a CO₂ price was a moot point, he said. The Social Democrats and most of the conservatives would have agreed to a reform of the system of energy taxes and levies, for example by lowering the electricity tax, while putting higher taxes on conventional fuels in the transport and heating sectors. This did not happen, because the proposal ran counter to the interests of individual federal states, he said.
For background, read the CLEW article Germany may have to buy way out of EU climate goal - ministry paper, and the factsheet Climate, energy and transport in Germany's coalition agreement.