Germany should be climate neutral by 2045 – but how? | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – The judges in Karlsruhe had enforced the political process with their verdict, now the Chancellor has announced the result surprisingly quickly and personally.

According to the federal government’s plans, Germany is to become climate neutral by 2045 – ie, emit only as much greenhouse gas as can be re-tied. New interim targets must be set along the way, including a 65 percent greenhouse gas reduction by the year 2030. To date, these emissions have fallen by 40 percent compared to 1990.

“We will do everything we can to achieve the goal of climate neutrality as early as 2045,” Merkel said Wednesday at an online conference of the CDU / CSU faction. To this end, additional measures should be taken and implemented.

Merkel said the grand coalition also wants to become more ambitious when it comes to cutting emissions by 2030, for which the EU target of 55 percent from 1990 has been the decisive factor so far. “We will re-intensify our efforts for 2030 and increase our reduction target to 65 percent,” said the Chancellor.

At noon, Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (both SPD) appeared before the cameras at short notice to announce the main points of the planned change to the climate law. It should be passed in cabinet in the next week.

The amendment had become necessary because last week the Federal Constitutional Court ordered the legislator with a groundbreaking ruling to further fine-tune the reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions for the period after 2030 by the end of 2022. The original plan was to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Germany had so far focused on the EU’s climate targets and had not set its own national target for climate neutrality.

The federal government’s interim goal to cut emissions by 88 percent by 2040 is also new, to progressively reach 100 percent. One of the main criticisms of the Karlsruhe judges was that the climate protection path was not sufficiently regulated after 2030.

It remains to be seen exactly how the goals should be achieved and what the new brands mean for individual domains such as transport or the energy sector. Votes were still going on in parallel, he said. Federal Minister of Economy Peter Altmaier (CDU) also pointed out in the afternoon that a few questions were still open. Especially about the tools needed to achieve the new goals, such as the details of CO2 pricing or the rate at which renewable energy sources are expanding. The climate law itself initially only lays down the reduction path and reduction targets for the individual sectors.

In addition to a higher CO2 price and the more ambitious expansion of wind and solar energy, the planning for the phasing out of coal is also a major bottleneck. None of this has yet been definitively agreed in the federal government.

CSU regional group leader Alexander Dobrindt called the new climate objectives “feasible and correct” and said: “This requires concrete agreements in the coalition about a more dynamic CO2 price and a jump in 2022 to 45 euros per ton of CO2 combined with a faster expansion. of solar photovoltaic energy. The coalition has yet to achieve results this week. “

Criticism of the plans was not long in coming. The federal government has not shown how it wants to achieve the goals, complained about the German environmental aid. Like Greenpeace, she also criticized the 65 percent target as insufficient. The climate protection organizations are pushing for at least 70 percent less greenhouse gases by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2040.

There was also opposition from the political opposition. Green party leader Anton Hofreiter criticized the planned government redeployment as inadequate. “Even the grand coalition for climate protection must come under pressure from the Constitutional Court. That’s a start, but that’s all, ”says Hofreiter of the” Rheinische Post “. “The Grand Coalition lacks the strength to do what is sensible and necessary.” The expansion of renewable energy sources must be accelerated enormously. “Here the grand coalition must finally break through its self-blockade,” Hofreiter exclaimed. He called on the federal government to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030 and set a 70 percent target to cut greenhouse gases by 2030, rather than the 65 percent planned. There was also criticism from the left. Climate politician Lorenz Gösta Beutin demanded that Germany become climate neutral by 2035.

FDP leader Christian Lindner warned of a “German solo effort”. Goals that were not coordinated with Europe would “only result in the burden being distributed differently within Europe,” Lindner said in Berlin on Wednesday. This would not save more tons of CO2 in total. “Germany has also been very good at setting ambitious climate goals in the past. We were not good at it, ”said the FDP boss.

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