11 Oct 2021, 14:02
Julian Wettengel

No time to lose for next government to get Germany on path to climate neutrality – report

Clean Energy Wire

The next German government must get a great deal of ambitious policy underway very quickly to put Germany on a path towards climate neutrality by 2045 right after taking office, shows a report compiled by more than ten renowned research institutions. The coalition of researchers in the government-supported Ariadne project compared different possible transformation pathways, but all of them require the next government coalition to quickly establish the right framework for Germany’s transformation. “There is hardly any short-term leeway to set in motion what should take effect in a few years - above all a massively accelerated expansion of wind and solar energy,” said Gunnar Luderer of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). At a press briefing, Christoph Kost of Fraunhofer ISE added: “From now on, every renovation, radiator installation or replacement must meet the requirement of climate neutrality.” On a path to climate neutrality by 2045, Germany’s coal exit would be pulled forward to 2030 and cleaner industry production processes would be introduced and ramped up until the same year. Most of the pathways examined show that reaching the climate targets in the transport sector remains one of the biggest challenges, also because the short-term potential of switching to e-mobility is limited due to the long lifetimes of cars in the existing fleet.

Following a landmark ruling by the constitutional court, Germany’s outgoing government of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the SPD had agreed to introduce stricter greenhouse gas reduction targets for the coming decades and pull forward the target for climate neutrality to 2045. It is unclear whether a new government would introduce even more ambitious targets, but the Green Party has said with the right policy Germany could reach climate neutrality within 20 years. A report by the German Energy Agency (dena) had said last week that Germany can reach its climate neutrality target but also concluded that enormous tasks have to be initiated as quickly as possible by the country’s next government.

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