There’s a possible policy upside to the coronavirus crisis — Germany may just reach its 2020 emissions reduction goal.
The target is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with 1990 levels by the end of this year. That had seemed completely unreachable just a couple of years ago — until the pandemic collapsed both economic activity and emissions.
As per the latest climate report, adopted by the German Cabinet on Wednesday, Germany cut greenhouse gas emissions by 35.7 percent in 2019 compared with 1990 levels. That puts the 2020 target within reach.
According to the report of 2019, emissions fell the most in the energy and industry sectors — a sign that the bloc’s carbon market worked more successfully than originally anticipated. Rising prices on the EU’s Emissions Trading System helped squeeze out coal in favor of gas and other less-polluting energy sources.Emissions also fell slightly in the waste and agriculture industries, but they continued to grow in transport and buildings. A new national carbon pricing scheme, due to start next year, is meant to curb fossil fuel use in cars and heating.
A broad alliance of environmental campaigners pressed the government to strengthen its climate measures and ensure the pandemic recovery program promotes green objectives.
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