Germany's CO2 emissions set to fall “markedly” in 2019 as energy use declines

This year’s developments are not due to government policy, said Peter. “What we see now is a market-driven reduction due to low natural gas prices and high prices for emissions allowances following the ETS reform.” Germany was also reaping the benefits of its long-term renewable energy expansion, said Peter, but warned that “the current reduction path in the power sector will not last if the problems in wind power expansion persist. The climate package so far has failed to lock in any of these trends to ensure the reduction continues smoothly."

Projections have indicated for years that Germany would widely miss its national 2020 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels. However, should this and last year’s trend continue in 2020, Germany could come very close to reaching the goal.

By 2018, the country had reduced emissions by about 31 percent, and the latest projections calculated for the government expect a reduction of about 33 percent by 2020. However, these do not yet factor in the government coalition’s latest climate action decisions, such as the coal exit.

"The environment ministry's projection for 2020 of 33 percent reduction compared to 1990 levels will probably already be achieved this year,” Peter told CLEW. “Ultimately, the decrease could even be greater and reach 34 percent by the end of this year."

"We're currently making better progress than expected,” said Peter. However, he warned that "there's nearly zero progress in the transport and heating sectors. The AGEB figures show that heating oil use is actually increasing while there's no progress regarding diesel and petrol consumption."

Renewable energy investments are cost effective. The International Renewable Energy Agency released a new policy brief showing that renewable energy has become the most cost-effective way to generate electricity for hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are not on the grid. Read more here.

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