Climate Action

Reports: Germany set to miss 2020 climate targets

An official Government report will show that Germany has missed its 2020 target to cut carbon emissions.

  • 13 June 2018
  • Adam Wentworth

An official Government report will show that Germany has missed its 2020 target to cut carbon emissions.

The revelation, reported in the German magazine Der Spiegel, will put pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to address the country’s faltering low-carbon economy.

According to the magazine, the 2017 Climate Protection Report shows that Germany is on course to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent by 2020, falling short of its intended target of 40 percent, compared to 1990 levels.

The underlying causes for the 8 percent gap purportedly came from “unexpected” economic and population growth.

Germany has invested huge sums in its transition to cleaner technologies, which has seen the amount of renewable generation reach 30 percent. However, its continued reliance on coal-power, especially the most carbon intensive lignite plants, has undermined this strong progress. Any economic growth is, therefore, matched by a dependency on fossil fuels.

Over 1 million migrants were also accepted into the country at the height of the Syrian civil war between 2015 and 2016.

The pressure on Mrs Merkel, who has spoken repeatedly on the need to fight climate change, will inevitably increase under her new coalition government. The missed target has been widely expected and was abruptly scrapped earlier this year.

Michael Schäfer, at WWF’s German branch said the report was a “120-decibel alarm” and showed the distance between words and actions by the federal government.

"What else has to happen so that the German government finally takes its own goals to combat global warming seriously?”, "…The 2020 and 2030 climate targets are still achievable, but only with the right measures. The transport sector, the building sector, agriculture and industry must finally recognise that,” he added.

The government, however, remains committed to reaching its 2030 target of reducing emissions by 55 percent.


Photo Credit: Ekem/CC