07 Sep 2017, 00:00
Benjamin Wehrmann Julian Wettengel

Germany far off 2020 climate path - study / Car industry job fears

Germany is likely to miss its 2020 emissions reduction target by nearly 120 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent - a far greater margin than previously thought, think tank Agora Energiewende* said in a new study. The country should quickly implement an ambitious set of measures to avoid “probably irreparable damage” to its international reputation as a climate protection frontrunner, the organisation added. “The next government immediately has to step up its efforts to at least get the country somewhere near its target,” Agora Energiewende head Patrick Graichen said in a press release.

 Germany's 2020 greenhouse gas emissions could end up about 120 million tonnes above target. Source - Agora Energiewende 2017.

Find a press release in German here and the full study in German here.

See the CLEW factsheets The story of “Climate Chancellor” Angela Merkel and Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets for more information.

The Clean Energy Wire will publish an article on this topic later today.

*Like the Clean Energy Wire, Agora Energiewende is a project funded by Stiftung Mercator and the European Climate Foundation.


Once a world leader in renewables, Germany’s energy transition progress has stalled and the 2020 targets are out of reach unless the next government realigns its policies, writes energy economist Claudia Kemfert in an article in Nature. The country should focus on three priorities, writes Kemfert: a coal phase-out, ideally by 2030; a coherent energy efficiency strategy for buildings and transport; and increasing government investment into research and development.

Read the article in English here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier The energy transition and climate change.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Diesel technology can in theory help protect the climate, but the average diesel car in Germany hardly emits less CO₂ than the average petrol car, Federal Environment Agency (UBA) president Maria Krautzberger told Süddeutsche Zeitung. Efficiency gains from the diesel engine are often offset by a higher engine power and higher weight for diesel cars, writes Süddeutsche. With her statement, Krautzberger “corrected remarks made by the chancellor” who said that diesel cars helped protect the climate, writes Süddeutsche. The potential of the diesel in climate protection was currently not used, so the technology is by no means a “climate saviour”, said Krautzberger.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW interview “Diesel summit comes two years too late” and the CLEW article Why the German diesel summit matters for climate and energy.

Die Welt / Federal German government

Workforce representatives of Germany’s car industry fear “massive job losses” due to the transition from the combustion engine to electric drives, write Nikolaus Doll and Philipp Vetter in Die Welt. In a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel, works council representatives discussed the challenges for the industry's workforce in the coming years. According to a statement, Merkel said that the transition had to be designed in a forward-looking way by introducing new jobs for the workers. The workers' representatives and Merkel will meet again in autumn.

Read the article in German here and find the federal government’s statement in German here.

See the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means" and the CLEW dossiers The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.

Welt Online

German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp’s CEO Heinrich Hiesinger said that a strict combustion engine ban could cost the auto industry a lot of money because of the long-term planning of affected companies, writes Carsten Dierig for Welt Online. “The immediate financial effects on businesses is underestimated by many politicians. It would lead to enormous valuation adjustments for many carmakers and suppliers on the day the decision is made,” said Hiesinger.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW factsheet The debate over an end to combustion engines in Germany and the CLEW dossiers The Energiewende and German carmakers and The energy transition's effect on jobs and business.

Federal environment ministry (BMUB)

The German government has increased funds to support the introduction of Deutsche Post DHL Group’s electric delivery van in cities most affected by air pollution, the federal environment ministry announced in a press release. Funds will be increased from 7.7 million euros to 17 million euros to introduce an additional 1,100 vans.

Read the press release in German here.

See the CLEW article Merkel at second diesel summit: must avoid driving bans "by all means" and the CLEW dossiers The Energiewende and German carmakers for more information.

Berliner Morgenpost

The sudden price drop for winning bids in Germany’s onshore wind power auctions raised questions about the much higher returns wind park operators could bank on in recent years, writes Jakob Schlandt in Berliner Morgenpost. A study by Deutsche WindGuard had shown that wind park investors currently expected 8 percent interest on invested capital, writes Schlandt.

Read the article in German here.

For background, read the CLEW dossier Onshore Wind Power in Germany.

All texts created by the Clean Energy Wire are available under a “Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC BY 4.0)” . They can be copied, shared and made publicly accessible by users so long as they give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made.
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