New IPCC ocean report triggers fresh criticism of German climate package
Clean Energy Wire
German environmental NGOs have used the publication of the latest report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the ocean and the cryosphere to renew their criticism of the government's new strategy for emissions reduction. The organisations said the 2030 climate package announced on Friday was a case in point for policymaking that does not fully appreciate the gravity of environmental challenges the world population is facing.
With reference to Germany's policy announcements and the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, WWF called the IPCC's latest report "a big bang that follows on the whispering of politics." WWF ocean expert Heike Vesper said Germany's "tiny climate package makes no meaningful contribution to the protection of our oceans and glaciers”. While policymakers settled for "baby steps”, the climate crisis would produce "scientific facts with a staggering dimension".
Oxfam climate policy expert Jan Kowalzig said the threat to ecosystems was a direct function of countries' climate action efforts, especially those with the highest emissions, adding "irresponsibly unambitious" targets meant the world could heat up by up to four degrees Celsius. "Germany is also complicit of this. That's what makes it even worse that Germany will likely miss its 2030 climate target despite the climate package the government presented last Friday."
Germany's environment minister Svenja Schulze said in a press release the IPCC report demonstrated "convincingly" what would happen if the international community chose not to implement the Paris Agreement, with rising sea levels, melting glaciers and thawing permafrost soils posing severe dangers for large parts of the global population. "The world community has to step up its game regarding climate action or future generations will face extreme and partly irreversible climate consequences."
Germany's government presented its Climate Action Package 2030 on 20 September in a bid to put the country back on track towards emissions reduction targets. But despite including a pricing mechanism for transport and building emissions, a long-held demand by climate activists in the country, the package has been widely criticised as too unambitious to induce the changes needed.