10 Jan 2022, 13:43
Benjamin Wehrmann

German economy minister aims to speed up climate action with emergency measures – media

dpa / t-online

With a set of immediate measures, Germany’s new economy and climate minister Robert Habeck wants to kickstart the government’s ambitious plans for fast emissions reduction and energy transition progress in the next years, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by news website t-online. Green Party minister Habeck, who is also the new vice chancellor, intends to present a first set of legislation and measures, which the cabinet could approve in April, the article states, citing ministry sources. The government coalition has promised a full emergency programme to get Germany on track for its climate targets before the year is out. Germany would have to triple the speed of emissions reduction compared to the past decade, a task that equals an “ultra run,” ministry sources said. Habeck will present an “opening balance” on Tuesday, 11 January detailing the state of the country’s energy transition and climate protection measures.

Habeck said last month that Germany would probably miss some of this year’s emissions reduction targets and also in 2023 due to a “drastic backlog” caused by the previous government. A reform of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG) will be a centrepiece of the first set of measures and the volume of renewable power auctions will be increased, the article says. Building renewables will become a measure of “overriding public interest” in order to resolve conflicts with neighbouring residents and other interest groups opposed to specific wind and solar power projects. Minimum distances for installations to communication infrastructure will be revisited and environmental protection “reconciled” with energy infrastructure expansion. Moreover, Habeck plans to designate 2 percent of Germany’s land area for wind power production and wants to introduce a “Solar Acceleration Act” as well as a strategy for climate-neutral buildings.

The new coalition of the Greens, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Free Democrats (FDP) plans to bring the share of renewables in power consumption to 80 percent by 2030. In 2021, it stood at about 42 percent. At the same time, Habeck’s ministry expects power demand to rise from about 560 terrawatt hours (TWh) currently to 715 TWh by 2030, whereas the previous government had calculated a demand of roughly 660 TWh.

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