Expert Council on Climate finds ministry's emergency programme for buildings sector lacking
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s Expert Council on Climate has taken issue with the federal government’s emergency building programme 2020, saying the initiative has overestimated the CO2 reductions outlined in the plan. The Expert Council, which is legally mandated to review the programme developed by the Ministries of Economic Affairs and Energy and Interior, said the documents and calculations do not allow “a methodologically consistent, isolated quantification of the effects of the 2020 emergency programme”. However, the Council stated that the estimated reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2 million tonnes of CO2 in 2025 and 4 million tonnes in 2030 as laid out in the plan “tends to be overestimated”. Specifically, the Council said the programme’s foreseen greenhouse gas reductions could not be attributed exclusively to the plan itself, but rather to the assumed increase in funding volumes – a total of 32 billion euros from 2020 to 2030, including the 5.8 billion euros that is part of the current emergency building plan. The government programme offers no evidence that it meets the requirement of the country’s Climate Action Law to ensure compliance with the annual sector emissions for the following years, the Council noted. The group nevertheless determined that the building sector programme will contribute to an additional reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years, especially if funding volumes are increased beyond 2021, as assumed in the plan. It is now up to the government cabinet to decide whether the buildings sector's immediate action programme is sufficient to meet the demands of the Climate Action Law.
While the building sector is seen as key to reaching Germany's climate neutrality target, it was the only major segment that failed to reach its reduction target last year. German homes are a big hurdle on the path to greenhouse gas neutrality, as they are responsible for around one-third of the country’s emissions. Nearly two-thirds are still heated with fossil fuels and most of them also need to be modernised to lower energy demand.