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07 Oct 2020, 13:41
Sören Amelang

Merkel's chancellery comes last in NGO's ministry buildings' efficiency survey

Clean Energy Wire

German government buildings are much too inefficient to contribute to the country's climate targets, according to a report by NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH). "Only three out of 15 federal ministers are on the right track as regards climate protection in their own buildings," the organisation said in a press release. "In their own offices, politicians are thus failing to comply with concrete climate targets and failing to set an example as prescribed by law," the DUH added. The NGO said the lack of a corresponding budget showed that there were no plans to renovate public buildings to make them more energy-efficient in the foreseeable future. The NGO also laments that authorities on the federal, state and municipal level currently have no comprehensive overview about the energy efficiency of public buildings.

At the federal level, only the ministries for education and research, agriculture as well as environment have a primary energy demand in accordance with the country's climate targets, according to the DUH. Among the eight ministries in which the NGO could state the exact energy consumption, Angela Merkel's chancellery came last with a primary energy demand of 195 kilowatt-hours per square meter. The NGO also looked at government buildings in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Saarland and found that not a single one was efficient enough.

German buildings' use of fossil energy is a big hurdle on the path to greenhouse gas neutrality. Nearly two-thirds still heat with fossil fuels, and most of them need to be modernised to lower energy demand. The government is working to extend the energy transition to buildings with a ban on new oil-fired heating and tax incentives for renovations and low-emission technologies. It aims to have a nearly climate neutral building stock by 2050, after emissions in the sector stagnated for nearly a decade. CO2 emissions from residential heating in Germany have fallen by 21 percent since 2010, but only by 2.6 percent when figures are adjusted for outside temperatures.

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