Europe's largest economy is a long way from achieving its climate targets for 2030, according to a report by the German government's expert council on climate issues published on Friday.
"The emission reduction rates achieved so far are far from sufficient to meet the 2030 climate protection targets," council member Thomas Heimer said, stressing that the targets have been missed by individual sectors as well as the economy as a whole.
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Germany aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and to be climate neutral by 2045, five years earlier than originally planned.
Annual emissions reductions would have to more than double to achieve these targets, Heimer stressed. Meanwhile, Germany's transport sector would require a 14-fold increase in reductions.
During the review period 2000-2021, greenhouse gas emissions in Germany fell by around 27 percent. The country's energy sector contributed almost half of this reduction, according to the government's report, presented in the run-up to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from Nov. 6 to 18.
On the other hand, Germany's industry, and buildings and transport sectors saw a "phase of stagnation or even a slight increase" in emissions. Although emissions in industry and transport fell due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this trend was reversed in 2021, the report found.
The effects of emission-reducing technologies were offset by more prosperity and economic growth. "Efficiency gains have been counteracted by overall economic growth, larger living spaces, and increased transport volumes," the council's chairman Hans-Martin Henning said.