21 Sep 2021, 14:00
Jessica Bateman

Germany’s climate debate unreasonably ignores building emissions – researcher

Süddeutsche Zeitung

The climate debate in Germany has been too focused on wind and solar electricity, and is ignoring the high volume of emissions that come from housing, Lamia Messari-Becker, buildings and physics professor at the University of Siegen, said in an interview with Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Construction and housing cause a third of CO₂ emissions and more than half of resource consumption and waste,” she told the paper. “Staring only at electricity reveals the mistakes of climate policy. What we need is a genuine heating transition in building and living.” She explained that home heating, which is responsible for the highest volume of electricity use, cannot be met through solar roof panels. Instead, she suggested that investment in geothermal energy would be more suitable.

Germany is yet to implement an energy transition plan for buildings and heating. Last month, the country’s Expert Council on Climate criticised an emergency programme for the sector as having little effect on emissions reductions.

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