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03 Jan 2022, 13:19
Sören Amelang

German climate minister says country set to miss 2022 emission reduction targets

Die Zeit

Germany is lagging behind in climate action and the country is likely to miss its sectoral targets for emission reductions this year, the country's new climate and economy "super minister", Robert Habeck, has said. "We will probably miss our targets for 2022, even 2023 will be hard enough. We are starting with a drastic backlog," the Green politician told "Die Zeit." Germany last year fixed more ambitious annual emission budgets for its economic sectors. But in 2021, total emissions increased due to the economic recovery and comparably weak renewables output, according to initial estimates. Think tank Agora Energiewende has already said that Germany would miss 2021 climate targets in sectors like buildings, but the German Environment Agency (UBA) will release first emissions data for last year only by mid-March. In October, a government projection report also said that Germany's current emission reduction efforts were not sufficient to achieve longer-term climate targets.

Habeck announced last month that he would present an “opening balance” at the beginning of this year detailing the state of the country’s energy transition and climate protection measures. The Green Party co-leader said the country was behind in the expansion of renewable energy sources and the power grid. “We have to change that very quickly, but first we have to honestly say where we stand and what that means,” Habeck said. As Germany's first climate super minister, Habeck – who also serves as Germany’s vice chancellor – is leading efforts to accelerate the country’s transformation and bring its ambitious climate targets within reach.

The SPD, Greens and business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) have laid out ambitious plans in their coalition agreement to strengthen climate protection efforts. Among its goals is increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity consumption to 80 percent by 2030, well above the previous government’s goal of 65 percent, and almost double the 2021 share of just above 40 percent. The country is also aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by nearly 50 percent within a decade and achieve climate neutrality by 2045.

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