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Germany’s Climate Efforts Not Enough To Hit 2030 Targets, Experts Say

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Germany’s greenhouse emissions gap will probably be bigger than the government’s estimates in 2030 even if planned emission reduction measures are fully implemented, a council of climate experts that advises the government said on Tuesday.

The largest economy in Europe aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 65% by 2030 compared with 1990. The country’s CO2 levels last year were already 40% below the 1990 level.

The German government’s planned CO2 cuts for the energy and industrial sector could cut emissions significantly, but the buildings and transport sectors’ efforts are lagging, the council said in a report.

“The expected overall reduction is probably overestimated,” Hans-Martin Henning, the council’s chairman, said in a statement.

Even if all the measures are implemented, the buildings sector will have a CO2 gap of 35 million tonnes by 2030, while the transport sector is expected to miss the target with excess emissions of 117 million to 191 million tonnes.

Watering down a bill that aimed to phase out oil and gas heating systems will also contribute to the lower cuts in the building sector, the report showed.

That sector emitted 112 million tonnes of greenhouse gases last year, or 15% of the total, but the scope of a rule phasing out the use of fossil fuels in heating systems in old buildings in favour of ones that run with 65% renewable energy from 2024 was significantly limited by a push from the pro-business Free Democratic Party to amend the initial bill.

The transport ministry’s assumptions on the effectiveness of the planned measures for cutting emissions are also “optimistic,” the council said.

“There is a lack of a coherent and consistent overall concept and an overarching framework of measures,” the report concluded.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Paul Simao)

Riham Alkousaa
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