06 Feb 2019, 13:38
Julian Wettengel

Germany must take new climate measures "urgently" - environment minister

Clean Energy Wire

The federal government has adopted its 2018 climate protection report, which shows that Germany must "urgently introduce new climate action measures," said environment minister Svenja Schulze. The report confirms that the country is bound to widely miss its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target. Current trends point to an emissions cut of only 32 percent by 2020 compared to 1990, which contrasts with the official target of a 40 percent reduction, the report states, echoing earlier ministry estimates. Clean Energy Wire published an article on a leaked draft of the report in November 2018, and its key messages remain unchanged in the final version published now. “We need a more courageous and binding climate policy,” said Schulze in an accompanying press release. She renewed her commitment to introduce a federal climate action plan this year.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government has promised to ensure that the country reaches its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets by enshrining them in law. In addition to a framework climate action law, it plans to introduce a policy programme of measures by which each ministry in charge of one of the climate action sectors is to reach the 2030 targets. The government decided to set up expert advisory panels on coal exit, mobility and buildings, each of which is expected to come up with proposals for the programme. The coal exit commission has already published its final report, the mobility task force is expected to do so by the end of March, but the buildings commission has not yet been set up. The interior ministry, which is charged with establishing this latter body, told Clean Energy wire it will do so “soon”.

Environmental organisation WWF Germany has called for the swift implementation of the planned climate action law. “An effective climate action law establishes binding measures and reduction targets for all sectors to securely reach the climate targets of 55 percent [emissions cut] by 2030, to be able to adjust policy early, and introduce sanctions in case of a repeated target miss,” said Henrik Maatsch, senior policy advisor climate and energy at WWF Germany.

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