Germany’s technology scepticism inhibits progress in emissions reduction
For a long time, Germany had been confident it was on the right track when it comes to climate action, but scepticism and resistance towards low-emission technologies are on the rise in the country today, Niklas Zaboji writes in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “Despite a general approval of climate targets in Germany, problems often arise when it comes to implementation” and the situation is aggravated further by a reluctance to embrace potentially beneficial technologies like carbon capture and storage (CCS), the article quotes Hans-Joachim Kümpel of the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech) as saying. “Completely unfounded” fears often prevent reasonable policy and lead to “prohibitive laws,” Kümpel says. But even if environmental organisations like WWF Germany say that technologies like carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) could be tried out in the future under the condition that they are not used as an excuse for not lowering emissions ambitiously, other policies are also needed to sufficiently cut CO2 output levels. Zaboji says that apart from a carbon floor price, ideas like genetically modified food, extended nuclear power generation or fracking all are viable options for emission reduction. However, these are all taboo in Germany, regardless of their potential benefits.
See the CLEW articles Call for open debate on CCU and CCS to save industry emissions and Norway bets on gas and CCS to complement Europe’s energy transition for more information.