01 Mar 2021, 14:13
Julian Wettengel

NGO alliance calls for exiting all fossil fuels by early 2040s ahead of German elections

Germany must phase out coal by 2030, oil and fossil gas by the early 2040s and base its energy system on renewables, NGO network Climate-Alliance Germany has said. In a paper spelling out the network members’ demands seven months ahead of the national elections, the group also called on the next government to expand the share of renewables to 75 percent of total power consumption by the end of the decade, also assuming a growing demand for electricity. The next government should use its first year in office to increase the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets in the country’s climate action law to align them with European and other international goals. For Germany to do its part in keeping with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C, the right framework must be created in the four years of the next legislative period, said the paper. “Whatever the next federal government decides will affect our greenhouse gas emissions in the next 20 to 30 years,” said Christiane Averbeck, managing director at Climate-Alliance, a network of NGOs that includes environmental groups, development groups, churches, trade unions and consumer associations. The paper states that Germany should reach climate neutrality long before 2050, preferably by 2040. It also calls on the government to increase the CO2 price in transport and heating, and introduce a target to reduce primary energy consumption by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 2008, from  -19% in 2020.

With these demands, the Climate-Alliance aims to influence parties as they draft their programmes for this autumn’s national elections. Germany is set to elect a new government on 26 September. After 16 years at the helm of Europe's largest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel will hand over power to a successor, who will shape the country's energy and climate policies in the first half of a decade viewed as crucial for international emissions reduction efforts.

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