29 Mar 2019, 14:01
Benjamin Wehrmann

Industry says environmental NGOs have thwarted compromise on Germany’s transport emissions

Clean Energy Wire

The influential lobby group Federation of German Industries (BDI) has said that a “blockade mentality” by environmental NGOs has prevented a compromise within Germany’s transport commission on reducing carbon emissions in the transport sector, news agency dpa reports in an article carried by Focus Online. “The environmental groups have to give up their resistance against a greater use of regenerative and synthetic fuels,” BDI vice head Holger Lösch told dpa, adding that alternative fuels were “significant” for reaching 2050 decarbonisation targets. Lösch said industry had made far-reaching offers to the environmental groups but these did not react with similar concessions. The NGOs criticise that alternative fuels like biofuel are not suitable for reducing carbon emissions, as these came with other negative consequences, such as consuming land area for fuel production that normally would serve to grow food.
Climate research institute MCC said the commission had failed to come up with adequate proposals for reducing transport sector emissions, which meant that Germany now faces financial penalties under the EU effort-sharing scheme for emissions reduction. “This is a declaration of bankruptcy,” MCC director Ottmar Edenhofer said, adding that higher taxes on fuel aligned with a car’s CO2 output are necessary to reduce emissions by sufficient volumes.

With roughly 170 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the transport sector was responsible for about one fifth of all emissions in Germany in 2017, and thus even increased over 1990 levels. Germany’ Federal Environment Agency (UBA) said the transport sector needs addressing more than any other in Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel recently announced that "though decisions" to bring down emissions were imminent.

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