08 Sep 2021, 13:35
Benjamin Wehrmann

Tripling of climate investments needed if Germany wants to reach 2030 target – think tanks

Clean Energy Wire

Germany needs to triple its planned state climate protection investments in order to reach its 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent compared to 1990 levels, think tank Agora Energiewende has said. The federal government will have to invest about 30 billion euros annually over the coming years – about twice as much as current plans foresee. Coupled with further investments at local level, the figure will ultimately be three times higher than currently planned and reach 46 billion euros per year, the think tank found in a study made in cooperation with the Forum New Economy. “No matter who forms the next government, they will have to initiate a wave of investments for necessary climate action measures – or risk failing the climate targets,” Agora Energiewende head Patrick Graichen said. Over the next five years Germany will have to invest 230 billion euros in railway expansion, digitalisation, support of building modernisation and other measures – 150 billion euros more than planned. Graichen stressed that the costs of the flood disaster in western Germany, which killed more than 180 people in the country, amounted to 30 billion euros in reconstruction aid alone. Saving money in climate action can be done by making necessary investments now “instead of constantly cleaning up climate damages with a lot of money,” he argued. 

Industry groups, labour unions and environmental activists have all urged the next government to tackle key challenges of the climate-friendly transformation of Germany's economy, with a focus on getting renewables expansion back on track, boosting building efficiency and initiating deep changes in the transport sector. Most parties agree that energy transition spending should rise, and voters largely support greater efforts in climate action. But the question of just cost allocation is becoming pressing, as carbon pricing and other measures increasingly financially burden citizens.

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