21 Jun 2021, 12:23
Julian Wettengel

German NGOs call for fossil gas phase-out by 2040


Clean Energy Wire

NGOs have called on the German government to immediately start the process of phasing out fossil gas use and set an end date for 2040 to ensure a transformation in line with the Paris Agreement target to limit global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius. To reach climate targets and avoid lock-in effects and stranded assets, the construction of gas infrastructure projects like the contentious Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream 2 must be halted immediately, as well as no new permits given, the organisations, including DNR, BUND, E3G and WWF, write. They call for an import ban on fracking gas, a stop to fossil gas infrastructure subsidies, and instead demand state support for fuel alternatives. In addition, the NGOs demand independent methane leakage measurements across the entire gas value chain, as methane – the main component of fossil gas – is a powerful greenhouse gas. They also call for a levy on methane emissions for gas imports.

At the European level, the German government must take “an ambitious, formative and proactive role” in negotiations on rules like the cross-border energy infrastructure regulation (TEN-E) or the taxonomy for sustainable investments and “work against a fossil lock-in through further gas infrastructure,” the NGOs write. Gas infrastructure projects should no longer be eligible for funding as Projects of Common Interest (PCI).

Natural gas currently covers a quarter of German primary energy consumption, second only to the country’s most important energy source, petroleum. Most gas is used for heating and cooling in households and public buildings and for process heat in industry. Last week, the Climate Neutrality Foundation and the think tanks Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende called for an end date for fossil fuel use by 2045, with a few exceptions.

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