UK’s “secret of success” in emissions reduction offers a lesson to Germany
The United Kingdom has reduced its carbon emissions from coal-fired power production by 50 percent within five years - “a reduction that Germany can only dream of,” Niels Boeing writes for the Zeit Online. “What has happened here?,” he asks. Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which came into force in 2000, has been emulated by many countries around the world, while the UK “relied on a different support system that did not bear any fruit for a long time,” Boeing says. Britain’s “secret of success,” however, has been its carbon price floor, introduced in 2013, which “dramatically increased the price of coal power,” he argues. The result is that the UK now uses a significantly larger number of gas-fired power plants, which emit a lower amount of CO2, and at the same time the country is expanding its renewable power capacity at a significant rate, Boeing writes. Germany reduced its emissions from power production by four percent between 2012 and 2016, compared to 47 percent in the UK, which offers a lesson to the Germans: “You can achieve a lot with the tool CO2 price.”
Find the article in German here.
See the CLEW factsheet Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets for background.