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13 Oct 2021, 13:25
Julian Wettengel

German climate law needs reform to include early warnings of target miss – researchers

Clean Energy Wire

This year’s reform of Germany’s Climate Action Law is insufficient for the country to get on the path to climate neutrality by 2045 and needs an additional overhaul, said the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) and Stiftung Umweltenergierecht (foundation for research on energy and environment law). The law stipulates annual greenhouse gas reduction targets for each economic sector. As reliable emissions data are only available with some delay, a target miss is identified too late and action lags behind what is necessary. Thus, other “early indicators” with specific targets must be included in the law to recognise and eliminate delays in emissions reduction, the institutions said in a report. In the energy sector, these could be targets for the transport capacity for green hydrogen or the targeted share of renewable energies in electricity production. In the transport sector, for example, the number of charging stations for e-cars or the passenger capacities of local public transport, and in the building sector the renovation rate would be useful indicators, they said.

Following a landmark ruling by the constitutional court, Germany’s outgoing government of chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the SPD had agreed to reform the climate law by introducing stricter greenhouse gas reduction targets for the coming decades and pull forward the target for climate neutrality to 2045. After the September federal election, German parties are in the process of forming a new government coalition, which is set to introduce key energy and climate policy decisions to shape the coming years’ policies.

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