Germany releases latest plan for climate change action

Germany has now submitted its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) to the Commission.

So, what does it entail?

The plan provides details on how Germany will meet the obligations set out under the Paris Agreement – the global framework to bring global warming down to below 2°C and reduce the effects of climate change.

The plan includes measures and targets on renewable energy, coal-phase out, buildings, agriculture, industry, transport, energy and waste management, and more.

What does it say about renewable energy?

Germany has already managed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35.7%. In the plan, it has set a target of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 figures.

This is part of Germany’s Climate Protection Law, which states energy consumption should be reduced by 30% from 2008 numbers in the next decade.

In terms of renewable energies, it has been outlined that this should be increased to 30%, compared with the current percentage of 17.5%.

This will be more challenging in some industries, but for others, such as the electricity sector, this has already been exceeded.

However, there has been criticism that targets will not be reached if Germany continues as it is. For example, some sectors, like wind power, are making very little progress and a great deal of expansion would be needed to meet the targets.

In addition, the plan doesn’t account for the recently released hydrogen strategy, which as critics point out, would need electricity demand to increase by 20 TWh by 2030.

How is the rest of the EU doing?

In the next few weeks, the Commission says it will look at whether Germany’s plan – as well as other countries’ plans – will be enough to reach climate targets.

However, so far, it says Denmark is the only country on track to achieve this.

Studies show that changes to laws wouldn’t be enough to reach the targets and the measures aren’t enough – particularly in the building and transport sectors.

Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Greece have all increased their measures since the first draft of their NECPs. And Ireland is the only country yet to submit one.

The Commission says funding will be available as part of the coronavirus stimulus package, of which €30 billion has been set aside for environmental and climate protection.

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