Germany narrows gap to achieve climate protection target

Germany reduced greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 and narrowed the gap to achieve its climate protection target for 2020, the Environment Ministry said.

The announcement was made on Wednesday in the Ministry’s 2019 climate protection report, which examines whether the set of measures aiming to reduce CO2 emissions would be sufficient to reach the official 2020 target, reports Xinhua news agency.

Germany wants to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 per cent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, and by at least 55 pe rcent by 2030.

Based on available estimates, Germany cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35.7 per cent in 2019 compared with 1990 levels.

Total emissions in 2019 decreased by 6.3 per cent from 2018 to around 805 million tonnes, according to the report.

However, without the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, those climate action measures introduced over the past years to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions could have been insufficient.

“The gap that was projected before the (coronavirus) pandemic started could not be closed,” the report said.

The extent of the emission reduction caused by the pandemic was still uncertain.

“If the actual greenhouse gas emissions for 2020 are significantly lower, the 40 per cent target could still be reached,” the Ministry said in the report.

Two weeks ago, the Working Group on Energy Balances announced that total energy consumption in Germany in the first half of the year decreased by 8.8 per cent year-on-year.

“The main reason for the decline in consumption is the macroeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Working Group had said.