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20 Nov 2019, 13:34
Julian Wettengel

German govt refuses to name CO₂ budget, says depends on int'l agreements

tageszeitung (taz)

[UPDATE adds Left Party quote]

The German government has declined to specify the amount of greenhouse gas emissions the country would be allowed to emit if it were to achieve a fair share in global climate action, reports tageszeitung (taz). In a reply to a parliamentary inquiry by the Left Party, seen by Clean Energy Wire, Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the environment ministry, said the international community would first have to agree on key issues before a budget could be established. "For example, it would have to be clarified whether only future or also historical emissions should be taken into account when distributing the budget, or whether every citizen worldwide should be granted an identical emissions budget, whether the existing economic and trading structures should be taken into account when distributing the budget, and so on.” The Left group's Lorenz Gösta Beutin said in a statement that the government is “afraid of concrete figures, because then it will immediately become clear to everyone that Germany has a special historical responsibility, that it is not the climate pioneer, that it is not only the fourth-largest climate polluter in history, but that it has not yet made a fair contribution to global climate action.”

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has calculated remaining total global emissions budgets to limit global warming to well below 2° Celsius or even 1.5°C with a certain level of confidence. Stefan Rahmstorf, head of the department for earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research (PIK), has accused Germany of repeatedly dodging any mention of a national budget – what he called "climate action's most important figure" – in the recent climate policy package. Rahmstorf said Germany's current climate targets mean that the country would emit another 13 billion tonnes until 2050 - a share of the remaining budget which is about twice the size of Germany's share of the global population (1.1 percent).

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