27 Apr 2021, 13:43
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germany could reach climate neutrality by 2045 – report

Clean Energy Wire

Germany could reach climate neutrality by 2045, five years earlier than planned, according to a report published by the Climate Neutrality Foundation and the think tanks Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende*. The five-year difference would save almost one billion tonnes of CO2, the authors write. To reach the target by 2045, Germany needs a faster ramp-up of renewable energies, mainly solar and wind power, to provide for an increase in electrification and hydrogen production. Electricity consumption would increase by almost 60 percent between 2030 and 2045, the authors predict. Germany also needs to complete the coal phase-out by 2030, instead of the current end-date of 2038; ban the registration of new cars with combustion engines after 2032; and speed up the climate-friendly refurbishment of buildings, the report states. Emissions from the agriculture sector could be reduced by limiting animal farming, lowering the consumption of milk and meat, and protecting wet moorland landscapes, the authors write.

Reaching climate neutrality by 2045 would require the reduction of emissions by 65 percent by 2030 instead of the current target of 55 percent, the report says. Germany’s upcoming federal elections in autumn will be decisive in setting the course for climate protection, according to the authors. "Those who want to successfully shape structural change must set a consistent course for climate neutrality in the coming legislative period,” they say. This would also allow Germany to “become the lead market and lead provider for climate protection technologies,” the authors write.

Germany and the EU aim to become climate-neutral by 2050 to help reach the Paris Agreement target of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C and possibly 1.5°C.

*Like Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende and Agora Verkehrswende are projects funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.

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