Germany updates sustainability strategy, reaches most 2020 energy and climate goals
Clean Energy Wire
Picking up on the United Nations’ call for a “decade of action” to implement the 2030 sustainable development agenda, the German government cabinet has adopted updates to its sustainability strategy. The Sustainable Development Strategy of March 2021 describes what the government considers necessary both in this legislative period and beyond to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN, taking into account recent impacts of COVID-19. The pandemic has not only had strong effects on the sustainability goal of health and well-being but has raised awareness also in other areas, such as the treatment of natural resources, the government said in a press release. "In order to achieve the goals of the Sustainable Development Strategy and the 2030 Agenda, we must follow the path of a truly ambitious transformation that encompasses important areas such as energy and climate protection, health, the circular economy, housing, transport, food and agriculture," Chancellor Angela Merkel writes in her foreword to the strategy. The new strategy states that Germany in 2021 will “continue to provide targeted and comprehensive support to partner countries in coping with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic”, aiming to “enable a sustainably oriented economic recovery”. As an example, the strategy lists the increased funding (68 million euros) of the government’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) which aims to link economic recovery with climate and biodiversity protection.
In an assessment of Germany’s sustainability strategy, also published today, the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) found that the country had reached four out of 12 goals that it had set for 2020. In the area of energy supply and greenhouse gas emissions, the government has exceeded its target of generating at least 35 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources in 2020, with a share of 42 percent in gross electricity consumption in 2019. Similarly, the government made true on its pledge to pay 4 billion euros annually by 2020 for international climate finance, by contributing 4.3 billion euros already in 2019. In contrast, it has slightly missed the target of reducing primary energy consumption by 20 percent in 2020 compared to 2008, at 18.7 percent, Destatis writes.