UBA study: This is how Germany can achieve its 2030 climate targets

More rail transport, a reform of the motor vehicle tax and reducing reliance on heating with fossil fuels are required

Emissions from an industrial plantClick to enlarge
Emissions from combustion processes in industrial plants are one cause of air pollution
Source: Gina Sanders / Fotolia.com

Germany can still achieve its climate targets by 2030. This is the conclusion of a new study by the German Environment Agency (UBA). To do so, Germany would need, among other things, more rail traffic, a reform of the motor vehicle tax and restrictions on fossil-fuel heating. In addition, all emissions would have to be priced and charged to the polluter. In the so-called Climate Protection Instruments Scenario 2030 (KIS-2030), UBA has examined how additional emissions can be saved in the buildings, mobility, energy and industry sectors. "The model analysis clearly shows that we have a lot of catching up to do in some sectors," says UBA President Dirk Messner. "We now urgently need a constructive dialogue about where emissions can be reduced, otherwise we will miss the legal targets for savings. We also need to have honest discussions about how we cushion financial burdens for lower-income groups and distribute these burdens more fairly. At present, low-income households are often asked to pay disproportionately. Quite understandably, this does not exactly increase acceptance for more climate protection."

The German Climate Protection Act (KSG) provides for a 65 percent reduction in climate-damaging emissions by 2030 compared with 1990. By 2040, emissions should fall by 88 percent and net greenhouse gas neutrality should be achieved in 2045. To this end, the KSG sets annual reduction targets by 2030 for each sector. The latest projection report published by the ⁠ UBA ⁠ in 2021 showed that with the currently planned climate protection instruments, both the climate targets in 2030 and the annual savings targets will be missed.

UBA's cross-sectoral KIS-2030 now shows which specific instruments the individual sectors can use to achieve their annual savings targets by 2030 after all. According to the report, price instruments, subsidy programs and new and stricter legal regulations can be used to set the course at an early stage to achieve the legally required savings.

In the transport and building sectors, for example, significantly greater efforts will be needed in the future to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the coming years. The climate protection instruments used in the model analysis in these sectors only meet the minimum requirements. In the case of transport and buildings, the prescribed targets will probably not be met, even with a mix of very ambitious instruments and measures. Accordingly, additional instruments that are effective in the short term would be necessary to achieve the interim targets on the path to 2030.

At the same time, the KIS-2030 shows concrete options for action with which the sector-specific climate targets can still be achieved: The predominantly economic instruments in transport modeled in the ⁠ Scenario ⁠ should be accompanied by a comprehensive expansion of rail transport and a strengthening of the environmental network consisting primarily of buses and trains.

The KIS-2030 is based on instruments similar to those currently under political discussion – such as mandatory municipal heat planning or the minimum efficiency standards for buildings currently under discussion at the EU level. The KIS-2030 also anticipates a ban on new monovalent oil boilers (from 2023) and gas boilers (from 2025), which goes beyond the current government drafts of the Buildings Energy Act.

Based on the scenario, the recommendation for the industrial sector is to increase subsidies for low-carbon and carbon-free technologies. In this context, subsidy programs should be designed in such a way that they do not in turn lead to negative environmental effects due to incorrectly set framework conditions or incentives.

Umweltbundesamt Headquarters

Wörlitzer Platz 1
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Die Abbildung zeigt die sektoralen Klimaziele von 2021 bis 2030 als aufeinandergestapelte Balken sowie der Verlauf des Projektionsberichtes 2021 sowie des KIS-2030 als Linien. Im Projektionsbericht 2021 werden die Ziele klar verfehlt, während sie im KIS-2030- Szenario eingehalten werden.
Entwicklung der gesamten Treibhausgasemmissionen nach Quellbereichen (2021-2030)

Mit dem KIS-2030 werden die Ziele des Bundes-Klimaschutzgesetzes im Jahr 2030 erreicht

Source: Kai Wehnemann / UBA
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 climate targets  emissions  KIS-2030  climate protection