Germany misses 2022 climate target due to Ukraine war fallout

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Germany used more renewable energy than ever in 2022. However, it once again failed to reach its CO2-reduction goal as Russia’s war in Ukraine prompted a return to more coal and oil use, a think tank has reported.

Europe’s biggest economy emitted 761m tonnes of greenhouse gases last year, just one tonne fewer than in 2021. This overshot the target of 756m tonnes, the energy think tank Agora Energiewende said in a statement.

Agora’s Germany director Simon Mueller said:

CO2 emissions are stagnating at a high level, despite significantly lower energy consumption by households and industry.

This is an alarm signal with regard to climate targets.

The German government had aimed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels. However, it has yet to achieve this feat. For 2022, Germany managed a 39% reduction from 1990 levels, Agora calculated.

The setback comes despite a record 4.7% drop in energy consumption last year, partly in response to soaring fuel prices because of the war in Ukraine.

Read on...

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The hidden price of war

The energy saving gains were wiped out by the government’s decision to burn more coal and oil to make up for the loss of Russian natural gas deliveries, Agora said. As the Canary’s Tracy Keeling has previously highlighted:

War is always an environmental catastrophe, and one we can ill afford in our age of climate and ecological crises.

The turn to fossil fuels also overshadowed another milestone: renewables accounted for 46% of Germany’s power supply mix last year, an all-time high. The increase was mainly down to favourable weather conditions for wind and solar power.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has stressed repeatedly that the return to fossil fuels is a temporary measure sparked by an energy crisis, and that his government remains committed to combatting global warming.

Germany still aims to phase out coal-fired power plants by 2030, and to become carbon neutral by 2045.

However, Agora stated that Berlin needed to drastically ramp up the expansion of renewables this year.

In order to meet key targets set for 2030, Germany would have to double its solar energy production and more than triple wind power capacity.

Energy Minister Robert Habeck said the government would present its own CO2 calculations for 2022 in March.

He insisted Germany was on “the right course” but acknowledged the ongoing “need for action”, particularly in cutting emissions from the transport sector.

Additional reporting via Agence France-Presse

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons, resized to 770×403 pixels

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  • Show Comments
    1. In interviews, Angela Merkel has recently said several times that Germany had no intention of fulfilling the Minsk peace agreements. I.e a resolution to the war stsrted by the US backed government in Ukraine which started in 2014 and has escalated to today. German industries are moving to the US. Germany will not reach its climate targets as long as the war hungry administration are in place.

      It makes no difference what climate propaganda Germany dispenses, they cannot achieve their goals without talking to Russian government. In 2020 there was a climate conference held in Russia with contributions from Timmermans and others. It is not just climate but also economic reasons. European Russia exists outside of political boundaries. Germsny and EU need to reinstate dialogue and reinstate productive cooperation instead of condemning everyone outside of the EU as well to a worse future based on their narrow Atlantic focused goals.

    2. It is infantile for European nations to talk about climate targets while they continue to be (mis)led by USA in respect of the war in Ukraine..
      Every time a missile or shell goes “Boom” in Ukraine, huge amounts of CO2 and oxides of nitrogen are released into the atmosphere.
      And – the U$A MIC (Military-Industrial-Complex) raises another cheer.
      The sheeple of Europe and UK are being led by the nose by an unbelievable torrent of NATO lies and propaganda.
      Ukraine is decisively beaten.
      Peace now !

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