News Digest Item
20 Mar 2018

Germany’s 2020 climate target still attainable with carbon price and plant shutdowns - study

WWF Germany / BDEW

The German 2020 climate target can still be attained by combining a regional carbon floor price of 25 euros per tonne with a shutdown of the dirtiest coal plants in Germany, environmental organisation WWF Germany writes in a press release. According to a study conducted by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut), reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels would still be possible if Germany and several of its neighbouring countries introduce a minimum price for CO2 and shut down old lignite plants with a capacity of 7 gigawatt (GW). “This should be a sufficient incentive for the new German government to introduce a price together with the European neighbours,” says Michael Schäfer of WWF Germany, adding that a carbon floor price would also have to be discussed in the context of the planned commission for Germany’s coal exit. According to Schäfer, the price for emission certificates in the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) is too low to bring about meaningful change before the mid-2020s.
The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) says the WWF’s proposal “misses the original problem”, as it would not target the most relevant sectors. Lobby group head Stefan Kapferer says the energy sector already contributes significantly to CO2 reduction, while the agriculture and heating sectors are stagnating and the transport sector emits even more than in 1990. “There is enormous potential for reduction that lies idle there,” Kapferer says.

Find the press release in German here.

See a CLEW interview with Schäfer on Germany’s 2020 climate target for background.

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