Germany lags behind on emissions targets despite renewables boom, experts say

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Germany’s carbon dioxide emissions held steady last year, compromising its climate targets as increased use of petroleum and charcoal It offset lower energy consumption and record production of renewables, data from climate think tank Agora Energiewende showed on Wednesday.

Germany’s energy consumption in 2022 fell by 4.7% year-on-year, reaching its lowest level since reunification, thanks to rising energy prices, mild weather and a government appeal to citizens to save energy in the face of the sudden drop in Russian gas imports.

“However, the increased use of coal and oil cancelled out the reduction in emissions thanks to energy savings,” the Berlin-based group said in a statement.

Despite the fact that renewables reached a record share of 46% in the German electricity market, greenhouse gas emissions from Europe’s largest economy hovered around 761 million tonnes last year, missing the target of 756 million tonnes and falling behind the 2020 target of a 40% reduction compared to 1990. according to Agora.

Berlin’s goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 and reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 compared to 1990, but short-term measures to ensure energy security following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have pushed back the schedule, according to Simon Mueller, Agora’s head in Germany.

Last summer, Germany agreed to allow the revival of coal-fired power plants or the extension of their useful life to compensate for declining gas deliveries.

CO2 emissions from the energy industry in 2022 amounted to 255 million tonnes, up 3% from the previous year, but slightly below the sectoral target of 257 million tonnes.

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The industrial sector also met its target, reducing its emissions by 8 million tonnes last year due to cost-saving measures and declining production, but the transport and construction sectors missed their annual targets, Agora added.

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