20 Jan 2022, 13:42
Kerstine Appunn

Final 2020 emissions data out: Germany narrowly stays within EU climate goal margin

Clean Energy Wire

Germany narrowly managed to meet its emissions budget for 2020 under the EU’s climate action targets for sectors such as transport and buildings (Effort Sharing Decision), the final greenhouse gas emission calculations presented by the Federal Environment Agency (UBAshowed. The small surplus of 3.5 million tonnes achieved in the sectors covered by the Effort Sharing legislation in 2020 could not compensate for the cumulative deficit of previous years, the UBA said. Germany must therefore buy additional emission allocations from other member states.

In 2020, Germany emitted a total of 728.7 million tonnes of CO₂ equivalent; previous estimates put the figure at 739 million tonnes. This is around 71 million tonnes or 8.9 percent less than in 2019 and 41.3 percent less compared to 1990. Germany thus also met its national 40 percent reduction target for that year. UBA president Dirk Messner said that the coronavirus crisis had caused emissions to fall drastically in 2020 but that current forecasts were showing them to have risen again in 2021. Patrick Graichen, state secretary in the ministry for economy and climate, said: "The climate targets require almost a tripling of the current pace of emission reductions by 2030.”

In 2020, power consumption fell due to the pandemic, while at the same time favourable weather conditions allowed renewables generation to increase and a low gas price meant that this more climate friendly energy replaced the use of hard coal and lignite for power generation. The energy sector reduced emissions by 15.2 percent. However, none of these positive effects, including the windy weather and low gas prices, are true for 2021. The UBA will publish its full forecast of greenhouse gas emissions in 2021 on 15 March 2022.

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