12 Feb 2020, 13:23
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany must use EU Presidency to bolster European Climate Law – renewables industry

Clean Energy Wire

The German government must take advantage of its EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2020 to bolster the bloc's climate action ambitions and vouch for a 2030 emissions reduction target of "at least" 55 per cent, the country's renewable energy industry association BEE has said. In a statement on the planned European Climate Law, the BEE said the target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 needs to be made legally binding and backed by sanction mechanisms for non-compliance, and that the reduction target for 2040 should be at least 75 per cent. "The German government is required to actively help make this work and use the German council presidency for climate action and the energy transition," said BEE head Simone Peter. She added that the law should be aimed at avoiding emissions directly rather than removing or storing carbon dioxide at a later point in time, which can only be achieved through greater energy efficiency and further expansion of renewable power sources in all sectors. "This is the only way to achieve the most cost-efficient decarbonisation and avoid billions in misguided investments that are still made in fossil energy sources," she argued.

The EU Commission under new head Ursula von der Leyen has proposed a Green Deal to shift Europe towards carbon-neutrality by 2050 and turn the continent into an engine for sustainable growth and green technologies. The German government will be holding the EU presidency from July until December. It will likely oversee tough talks between member states on how to increase the bloc's climate target in time for the COP 26 summit in Glasgow in November, as well as a major EU-China summit in Leipzig in September that might set the course for more intensive climate policy cooperation between the two regions.

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