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Germany’s CO2 Targets “Unrealistic”

September 3, 2015

By Paul Homewood 




Since 2012 a group of experts around McKinsey director Thomas Vahlenkamp has been assessing every six months whether the federal government’s goal of its self-imposed targets of its energy and climate policy are achieved. Die Welt has obtained the latest score: the picture brightens only in some secondary objectives.

The decisive climate policy goal of the Energiewende, however, cannot be achieved: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 is “unrealistic”, says the report. Any improvement is not in sight either, the authors conclude: “The prospects for a turnaround by 2020 are permanently bad.”

Setback for the federal government

For the federal government, the new assessment is embarrassing: Recently the government announced additional measures that would help achieve the 40% target. A “National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency” was one of them. In addition, it announced a shift from around the clock lignite-fired power generation to a coal reserve capacity. None of these measures is likely to achieve its goal.

“Additional savings of 181 megatons of CO2 are still needed,” the McKinsey report concludes: “In order to achieve the 2020 target, the average annual CO2 reduction rate would have to approximately quadrupled from now compared to the period 2000-2014.”




It should also be remembered that most of the reduction in German emissions since 1990 took place took place in the 1990’s, as large chunks of East German heavy industry shut down. Emissions fell from 276 MtC in 1990 to 226 MtC in 2000.

Since 2009, emissions have actually increased. For the 40% target cut to be achieved, there would need to be a reduction of 20% from current levels.



  1. September 3, 2015 2:34 pm

    Thanks, Paul. This is good news for the German people.

  2. Joe Public permalink
    September 3, 2015 5:15 pm

    Germany’s energy policy helps contribute to it having the second-highest electricity prices in Europe.

  3. September 4, 2015 6:39 am

    Why does anyone knowledgeable worry about CO2 emissions? Do we have enough fuel and construction capability to survive, for a while?

  4. AndyG55 permalink
    September 4, 2015 7:22 am

    Someone remind me please….

    How many new coal fired power stations do they plan on building 🙂

  5. Billy Liar permalink
    September 5, 2015 11:41 pm

    Maybe they should slash ‘das auto’ production.

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