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Germany criticised for watering down climate plan

November 13, 2016

From Reuters:


The German government has bowed to pressure to water down its CO2 reduction targets for industry in the final version of its climate action plan, a document seen by Reuters showed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is determined to hammer out the final details this week so that Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks can present the plan at global climate talks in Morocco next week.

The government is now calling for German industry to cut its CO2 emissions by 20 rather than 30 percent by 2030 compared with 2014, according to the document which was seen on Friday.

 The plan sets out how Europe’s biggest economy expects to move away from fossil fuels and cut CO2 emissions by 95 percent by 2050 to implement pledges made as part of a global climate treaty agreed in Paris in September 2015.

A leader of the Greens, Anton Hofreiter, said the watered-down goals as showed how Germany, which once considered itself a leader in climate protection, has gone off course.

“The climate protection plan remains just a skeleton,” he said. “There still aren’t any clear goals or measures. This government is afraid to tackle issues like more CO2-free vehicles on the road or closing down coal-burning plants.”

In the new plan, the emissions-cutting target for power stations was reduced, although only slightly.

Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel, leader of the Social Democrats (SPD) who share power with Merkel’s conservatives, blocked a deal late on Tuesday on the initial plan, aimed at cutting German CO2 emissions by 55 percent by 2030.

His unexpected veto came after trade union IG BCE, with the support of the BDI industry group, raised concerns about plans for Germany to end its use of brown coal amid calls for it to set out a timetable for ending coal-fired power production.

Gabriel said it was important to achieve ambitious climate and energy policies that also take into account modernization, economic growth and job security.

The document also dropped a previous government call to set a minimum price for carbon permits auctioned by countries under the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The ETS charges power plants and factories for every ton of carbon dioxide they emit, but to stop industries moving their operations to countries with looser environmental regulations, many firms have been handed free permits.

The German document suggested 10 percent of the most efficient plants in sectors that could be vulnerable to so-called carbon leakage should continue to get free allowances.

EU lawmakers are currently working on reforms of the market that will reduce the share of free carbon permits handed out after 2020 as part of an effort to fix the oversupply in the system and boost prices.

  1. markl permalink
    November 13, 2016 5:25 pm

    Reality strikes again. We should all be thanking Germany for spearheading the Europe rush to energy suicide. As the leading industrial nation slowly sinks into loss of productivity and lowering of living standards the lessons learned will be useful to everyone else. If I remember correctly…..isn’t Germany the home of the Green Party?

  2. John F. Hultquist permalink
    November 13, 2016 6:19 pm

    “… many firms have been handed free permits …”

    Regarding “free permits”: Did not a German, Martin Luther, start the Reformation because of Indulgences? The Church did require some payment, so I suppose the current government is wise. One doesn’t want to cause an uprising. Free is nice.

  3. November 13, 2016 6:49 pm

    Technological progress has already reduced emissions of all kinds since Kyoto without the need for compulsion. That’s the way technology works. Things get more efficient and provided they’re cost-effective as well, the free market chooses the winners. Germany could achieve its emissions target within a year by scrapping all the RE and allowing fracking.

  4. Stephen permalink
    November 13, 2016 7:18 pm

    It’s called the Trump Effect.

  5. glenwaytown permalink
    November 13, 2016 7:21 pm

    A much smaller delegation this time????

    Oh, the 27,000 signed up thus far does not include government representatives – so add another 5-10,000.

  6. tom0mason permalink
    November 13, 2016 7:28 pm

    Not a good time to cut back on power supply as there is currently a stunning increase in Northern hemisphere snow cover!

  7. Athelstan permalink
    November 13, 2016 8:37 pm

    So, what duplicity is this?……. the Germans can build new lignite power generation but set a timetable to cut them out?

    Whatevah, always those crafty bastards change the rools [wot dey?]……to suit themselves and Britain sticks by the crazy gang emissions targets – rigidly and goes down into the deindustrialization dustbin – northern Pakistan here we are.

  8. tom0mason permalink
    November 13, 2016 9:31 pm

    From NoTricksZone Former German Economics Minister Rips Renewable Energy Policy! “Capital Destruction Of Difficult-To-Fathom Dimensions”!

    Where P Gosselin quotes —

    Ex-minister Clement that ‘huge subsidies’ cost consumers more than 23 billion euros annually’ and ‘especially lignite coal never needed such subsidies.’”

    Clement blasted current energy policy for “putting climate protection too high above economy and supply stability” and that it is “a capital destruction of difficult-to-fathom dimensions” He added that “it would be unthinkable in any other country on the planet.“ The former super minister hopes for a “transition away from the energy transition” and that Germany’s Rhineland industrial belt survives.

    He called on the trade unions “to fight with all their strength“.

    [edited TM]

  9. November 13, 2016 9:35 pm

    Tension between reality and green foolishness will only get worse as the nuclear closrue crunch nears.

  10. RAH permalink
    November 13, 2016 9:39 pm

    This is OT but I thought it might interest some here: “EU Threatens to Punish Britain for Getting Close to Trump”

  11. tom0mason permalink
    November 13, 2016 11:59 pm

    It sounds like Germany is at last giving the UN a more measured and thoughtful response to the ‘waste of money schemes’ to redistribute global wealth*. But they are still behind the curve.
    I’ll echo President Ronald Reagan and say —
    “Mrs Merkel tear down that Energiewende!”
    Understand that as while that costly abomination stays, German will be at the focus of the global socialist experimental crucible for Western democracy’s industrial and financial destruction.


  12. November 14, 2016 1:19 pm

    Although no one has been announced as yet that I have heard, apparently one of Donald Trump’s very short list to head the EPA is, gasp, a “science denier”. A short bit of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” is called for here.

    In addition, on his first day, he will be rescinding 50+ Obama “executive orders”. The executive order was meant by the Founding Father’s to allow for important decisions when Congress was not in session–in those days, that was most of the time.

    Obama has misused executive orders to get his way when Congress, told him “no.” But since they are not binding law passed by Congress, President Trump can dismiss them with a stroke of HIS pen. The EPA regulations strangling coal, delaying pipelines, etc. can disappear on January 20, 2017 along with many other pieces of nastiness created by the narcissist-in-chief. We won’t miss that brat.

    AS for the UN. A lot of us would like to see it sent packing and the property turned into a useful, income-PRODUCING enterprise of some sort.

    • RAH permalink
      November 15, 2016 1:09 am

      Back “in those days” the DC was a malarial swamp and there was no A/C. Somethings I wish it were still like that.

  13. November 14, 2016 1:37 pm

    Green spokesperson: ‘“The climate protection plan remains just a skeleton,” he said. “There still aren’t any clear goals or measures.’

    Only own goals as the cost of electricity rises while reliability of supply falls.

  14. Gerry, England permalink
    November 14, 2016 1:39 pm

    Interesting to see the union opposition just as there has been growing opposition from the GMB union here. I guess they are not falling for the promised rush of ‘green’ jobs to replace the real ones that their members do that will be destroyed.

    Of all the Trump promises made, ending global warming is the one that is easiest to deliver. Putting a guy who delights in being called the Denier in Chief in charge of the EPA is one positive move. And US law requires the UNFCCC funding to stop since it has recognized Palestine as a state. So The Don would just be obeying the law, unlike Obummer who spends a lot of time ignoring it or subverting it.


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