Climate protection with a safety margin

Germany able to make 43-percent savings on its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020

Germany is in a position to save 43 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, compared to 1990 levels. This is the outcome of the Policy Scenarios V - towards a structural change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions Scenarios up to 2030 study. By 2030, that figure could reach a nearly 60-percent reduction over 1990.  ”The driving force would come mainly from the electricity sector, whereby roughly one quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in Germany from 2005-2030 could be saved”, said Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA).

The study, commissioned by UBA to a research consortium associated with the Öko-Institut (Institute for Applied Ecology), investigated greenhouse gas emissions in a business-as-usual scenario and a Structural Change Scenario. The Structural Change Scenario is based on an ambitious climate policy incorporating additional measures aimed at saving electricity, heat, and fuels and making greater use of renewable energies.

In the business-as-usual scenario, however, greenhouse gas emissions would decline by only 29.6 percent until 2020 over 1990 levels, whereby the national goal of a 40% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020 compared to 1990 would not be achieved. The most influential measures in this scenario are the extension of renewable energies, the EU emission trading scheme, and the building refurbishment programme. From 2020-2030, the climate protection measures implemented to date would lead to an additional reduction of a mere two percent.

In the Structural Change Scenario the 40-percent reduction goal is exceeded in 2020 at 43.1%. Approximately half of the additional savings are achieved by a range of measures aimed at reducing electricity consumption. Other effective measures are to step up development in renewable energies, to implement and enforce compliance with the Energy Savings Act (EnEV), intensification of CO2 emission specifications for cars, and taxation of aircraft fuels. A reduction by 58.2 percent could be made by 2030.

The study completes the recent UBA publication Konzeption zur Klimapolitik [Climate policy conceptual design]. It demonstrates that a 40-percent reduction target is feasible as well as which national and European climate protection measures are necessary to achieve it.

German Environment Agency

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