By Michael Bastasch
Germany will abandon its 2020 national global warming goal, a huge embarrassment to Chancellor Angela Merkel, as part of a deal to put together a coalition government in the wake of September’s elections.
Sources tell Reuters that Merkel’s would-be coalition will drop a goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Ahead of the elections, Merkel said she’d find a way to meet the 2020 target. That was before she failed to put together a majority governing coalition.
Merkel has been highly critical of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accords, even promising to confront the U.S. president on the issue at the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg.
“We cannot expect easy discussions on climate change at the G20 summit,” Merkel said in June. “Our differences with the U.S. are clear.”
But now, Merkel’s new government is abandoning its previous climate pledge. Instead, the coalition pushed back its 2020 goal until some time in the 2020s and keeps the goal of reducing emissions 55 percent by 2030.
Reuters reported that would-be coalition members agreed to cut severe taxes and fees on electricity bills to green energy deployment. Germany now has one of the most expensive electricity markets in the world, largely due to taxes.
Though, coalition members still agree to set up a commission to decide when to phase out Germany’s use of coal-fired electricity. Coal currently powers about 40 percent of Germany’s electric needs.
It’s not surprising Germany has decided to abandon its 2020 climate goal. Germany was not on track to meet its climate goal, despite spending nearly $800 billion in green energy subsidies in recent decades.
University of Colorado professor Roger Pielke, Jr. pointed out the impossible math behind Germany’s climate goals.
The implications of Germany's 2020 target of a 40% reduction were obvious years ago. Setting targets just over the future horizon is how climate policy fools everyone into business as usual. Example: Germany has kept their 55% reduction by 2030 target. That one will work, surely. pic.twitter.com/JNwGbRGXYR
— Roger Pielke Jr. (@RogerPielkeJr) January 8, 2018
And those projections assumed no growth in energy demand. That’s not been the case, according to Reuters.
“Due to strong economic growth and higher-than-expected immigration, Germany is likely to miss its national emissions target for 2020 without any additional measures,” Reuters reported.
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