Germany meets emissions targets in 2022 despite more coal power

Germany met its emissions targets in 2022 despite the increased use of coal-fired power during the energy crisis, according to preliminary calculations published by the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) on Wednesday.

Following an increase in 2021, UBA said that Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 fell slightly by 1.9 percent year-on-year, to around 746 million metric tons. Compared to 1990, emissions fell by around 40.4 percent.

However, the decline in emissions does not involve all sectors. There has been a “significant increase” in the energy sector, with emissions rising by 4.4 percent, according to UBA.

In response to the energy crisis, the German government has reactivated coal-fired power plants which were previously running on reserve. Nevertheless, Europe’s largest economy is sticking to its goal of phasing out coal by 2030.

Germany is seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 65 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. By 2045, it hopes to achieve climate neutrality.

In order to reach these targets, UBA President Dirk Messner called for a “much faster pace in the expansion of renewable energies.”

“To achieve the German government’s targets by 2030, emissions must now be reduced by six percent per year. Since 2010, the average has not even been two percent,” He added.

Coal remained the country’s most important energy source for power generation last year, accounting for one-third of electricity generated in Germany, according to preliminary results published by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis).

Meanwhile, the transport sector saw a slight increase in emissions despite high fuel prices, the temporary introduction of a 9-euro ticket in public transport, and a record year for new registrations of electric cars.

“We need to make progress on climate protection in all areas,” a spokesperson for the Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) told Xinhua on Wednesday, emphasizing that the latest UBA data on emissions “underlines this urgency.”

It is “of crucial importance that we also convert the vehicles in the existing fleet to climate neutrality,” the spokesperson added, underlining that the ministry is strongly committed to ensuring that internal combustion vehicles powered by e-fuels can be registered in Europe beyond 2035. ■


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