04 Feb 2019, 14:13
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany to face EU sanctions if it does not lower heating sector emissions

Die Welt

The sluggish emissions reduction in Germany’s heating sector could mean the country will face severe financial sanctions by the European Union for failing to comply with the block’s climate targets, Daniel Wetzel writes in the newspaper Die Welt. In a letter to the economy and energy ministry (BMWi), the German heating installations industry has warned that reducing emissions from 119 million tonnes of greenhouse gases in 2018 to 72 million tonnes by 2030 currently is “a very distant prospect”, as the rate of energy-efficient retrofitting of buildings is far too low to meet the sector’s climate targets. Wetzel says it is not yet clear how much Germany could be fined under the EU’s “burden sharing” scheme but adds that estimates put the figure at a “two-digit-billion-euro amount.” According to the heating installations industry, the rate of retrofitting should be doubled to avoid financial sanctions altogether. Wetzel adds that industry representatives praise new fuel cell heating systems as a possible solution for ramping up the rate of energy-efficient modernisation in German buildings.

According to the EU Effort Sharing Regulation, Germany’ emissions in sectors not covered by the EU emissions trading system (ETS) must decrease by 14 percent by 2020, and by 38 percent by 2030, compared to 2005. By 2020, buying emissions rights from other countries could cost Germany 600 million euros per year, according calculations undertaken by the Institute for Applied Ecology (Öko-Institut).

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