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14 Jul 2020, 14:11
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany's biggest state NRW 'enters new dimension' in CO2 reduction but struggles on transport

dpa / Süddeutsche Zeitung

Germany's most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has exceeded its own emissions reductions goal, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. According to NRW's economy minister Andreas Pinkwart of the pro-business party FDP, the state has entered "a whole new dimension" in climate action by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases by more than 13 percent in 2019. Compared to 1990 levels, emissions in NRW have fallen by 38 percent, more than the national average of 35 percent and "clearly outstripping" the 25 percent originally envisaged for 2020, Pinkwart said. While the state's energy sector achieved a reduction of 21 percent compared to 2018 last year, primarily due to an immense reduction of coal-fired power production, progress in the mobility sector remained wanting, with emissions increasing slightly by two percent. "There's still a lot of potential in mobility," Pinkwart said. In order to help the breakthrough of e-mobility in NRW, the state government would make sure that drivers find a charging point every ten kilometres by 2022 by increasing the number of public charging points from currently about 8,200 to 12,000 and doubling that of private points to 20,000, he added.

Germany’s carbon emissions have fallen sharply in 2019 for the third year in a row, bringing the country closer to climate targets it had already written off. But progress in emissions reduction is heavily tilted towards the energy and industry sectors. On the other hand, sectors that are not covered by the EU's emissions trading systems (ETS), building and particularly transport, struggle to make any headway at all, meaning Germany is still on track to widely miss its EU emissions reduction obligations, researchers say.

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