20 Sep 2021, 13:21
Jessica Bateman

Next German govt will need to make unpopular decisions on emission cuts, say scientists

Whoever forms the next federal government in Germany will need to make unpopular decisions if they are to meet the emissions cuts dictated by the country's climate targets, a team of researchers has said. According to an article in WirtschaftsWoche, the government-supported Ariadne project, which brings together over 40 climate researchers, reviewed Germany's 2021 climate protection act and concluded that the stated emission reductions can only be reached if electricity production from wind and solar sources is quickly tripled; coal is phased out by 2030; and twice as many houses each year are renovated to become energy efficient. 

“Many politicians are probably not yet clear on what kind of effort that means,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and an Ariadne member. “It will be a structural change that is unparalleled in history.” The researchers stated that decisions will need to be made as early as next year if the target of becoming climate neutral by 2045 is to be achieved. However, they predicted that phasing out coal by 2030 may be easier than expected as the fuel has already become “uneconomical” due to rising CO2 costs.

Earlier this month, energy and climate think tank Agora Energiewende estimated that Germany needs to triple its climate investment to meet its emission reduction targets.

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