German CO2 Emission in 2011 2.9% Lower Despite Nuclear Withdrawal Thanks to Weather Conditions

Despite the shutdown of eight nuclear power plants following the German energy policy shift  of 2011, CO2 emissions declined by 2.9% in 2011 compared with 2010. However, the decline was mostly due to the weather conditions, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) said in a joint press release.

The data forms part of Germany’s reporting obligations to the European Commission in connection with the Kyoto Protocol.

The strongest emissions reductions (-22.4%) were recorded for heating systems in private households, while reductions in other sectors were lower, following the trend of the last years.

With emissions reductions of almost 27% compared with 1990, Germany has overachieved its climate targets, BMU and UBA pointed out. For the period spanning 2008 to 2012 Germany committed to reducing emissions by 21% compared with 1990. Yet the trend showed that reaching Germany’s climate target of minus 40% until 2020 required additional action, Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said, demanding that all sectors contributed their fair share.

Due to the decline of prices of CO2 emission allowances forming part of the trading scheme of the European Community (EU ETS), CO2 emissions by the manufacturing industry and utilities decreased only by 5%, while greenhouse gas emissions in other sectors fell by 10%, BMU and UBA said. UBA president Jochen Flasbarth demanded that Germany called on the EU to adapt the EU allowance trading budget to create greater incentives for utilities and the manufacturing industry (regarding a Commission proposal for backloading auction volumes please see here). Another problem were emissions in the traffic sector that were slightly increasing again instead of falling, Mr Flasbarth pointed out. He demanded that the European climate protection target be raised from 20% to 30%.

Source: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

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