Zero-carbon economy needed to meet Paris Agreement
November 4, 2016, Berlin – Germany’s current climate targets are too weak and fall short of meeting the Paris Climate Agreement. Meanwhile, the German government is on track to missing even these weak climate targets, a new study by the Energy Watch Group and the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO) Germany shows.
The Paris Agreement is entering into force today. Yet, the former climate leader Germany is most likely to take off to the world climate conference COP22 in Marrakesh without a Climate Action Plan in place – and is turning into a climate sinner.
“The federal government needs to completely rewrite its Energy Concept and climate targets. The greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 80-95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels is inadequate to meet the Paris targets”, Hans-Josef Fell, co-author of the study, President of the Energy Watch Group, and Member of the German Parliament 1998-2013 says.
“Current climate protection measures do not bring about any significant emissions reduction. Global temperature is increasing at unprecedented speed. Given the consequences we already observe today, any further increase of global temperatures – 1.5°C or less – should be unacceptable. The target should be a cooling to preindustrial levels”, Fell adds.
The new study ‘German Climate Policy – From Leader to Laggard’ proves that the emissions reduction pathway in Germany has been surpassed every year since 2010. Especially the transport, electricity and agricultural sectors have contributed to this transgression. According to the government projections, in its most ambitious scenario, the transport sector for example will exceed the set 2035 targets by a striking 91%.
“The emissions reduction pathway from 2010 was already exceeded years ago. With the new more ambitious targets of the Paris Agreement in place, additional and stronger measures are now needed. The aim should be a zero-carbon economy by 2030”, Jörn Schwarz, author of the study and chairman of ASPO Germany says.
A global zero-carbon economy should go hand in hand with the creation of effective carbon sinks and requires a range of measures on the policy and technical level. The study shows that 100% renewable energy as well as a functioning circular economy is essential. The study authors recommend including climate protection into the constitution; creating incentives for private investments into climate change protection; and promoting research and education in this field.
“This study clearly shows that the current German energy policy removes any possibility to meet the Paris climate targets. Compared to the ambitious measures of other countries, Germany is increasingly lagging behind on its climate protection action. The federal government is jeopardizing the livelihoods of current and future generations, and the competitive advantage of the country“, Dr. Volker Quaschning, Professor for regenerative energy systems at HTW Berlin, and peer reviewer of the study says.
The study is currently only available in German. You can find it here.
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Energy Watch Group (EWG) is an international network of scientists and parliamentarians. The EWG conducts research and publishes independent studies and analyses on global energy developments. Our mission is to provide energy policy with objective information.