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Germany to record highest rise in emissions since 1990

An environmental think tank in Berlin has published a report that forecasts a steep rise in Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions. Agora Energiewende estimated that carbon emissions would rise by around 47 million tonnes in 2021, the biggest increase since 1990. The report used data from the first half of this year to calculate the prospective total emissions for the full year, which worked out to be the equivalent of 760 to 812 million tons of CO2.

The increase in greenhouse gas emissions for this year means that the total emissions will be around 37 percent less than in 1990. The government had originally set a target of cutting emissions by 40 percent and did in fact reach this level in 2020, thanks largely to the restrictions that were implemented in response to coronavirus.

Read also: World’s largest miner BHP in talks to exit fossil fuels business

Now that restrictions are being lifted and society is slowly returning to its pre-COVID state, the report found that there has been a significant increase in the use of fossil fuels in building, industry and transportation. If this is confirmed, the German government will be obliged to introduce measures to reduce emissions in those sectors.

Following the release of the report, Annalena Baerbock, the Greens candidate for chancellor, called for better climate protection: “What has been blatantly neglected by the incumbent federal government over the years needs to be caught up. If Germany does not do this, it will endanger the climate and prosperity,” she said.

Baerbock continued to say that, should the Greens win at the federal election in September, her party would “set the course for the massive expansion of renewable energies”. Included in these plans are a target of 2 percent of Germany’s area being earmarked for wind power and the installation of solar panels on every newly built roof. The party also wants to speed up the move towards climate neutrality, by phasing out the use of traditional combustion engines in the transportation sector and using climate-friendly heat pumps in heating systems.


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