According to preliminary calculations, Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 1.6% in 2012, the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) and the German Environment Agency (UBA) informed in a joint press release. Germany, however, met its obligations under the Kyoto-Protocol, lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 25.5% compared with 1990, while it would only have been obliged to lower emission by 21% on average for the period 2008 to 2012, BMU and UBA pointed out.
Some 931 million CO2 equivalent were emitted in Germany in 2012, 14 million tonnes more than last year. CO2 emissions rose the most (2%), the reason being a higher use of lignite and hard coal in the electricity generation and a weather related higher use of gas for heating. The growth of renewable energies helped to keep the rise in greenhouse gas emissions in check, BMU and UBA said. For more information of the electricity production in Germany in 2012, please click here.
The new data provide the first information on the whole first commitment period spanning the years 2008 bis 2012, in which Germany presumably remained 192 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent below its emissions budget under the Kyoto Protocol, BMU and UBA pointed out.
The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions were a milestone towards reaching the ambitious goals for 2020, yet further efforts were necessary Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said, naming changes to the European Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS), energy-efficient renovations and sustainable mobility.
UBA president Jochen Flasbarth said he was concerned about the trend towards a higher use of coal for the electricity generation (import coal is currently cheaper than gas). He demanded to strenghten the EU-ETS, saying the EU Commission proposal for backloading auction volumes was a first step, but in the long run certificates had to be taken out of the market permanently, preferably by increasing the EU climate targets. The members of the European Parliament’s Environment Committee have meanwhile endorsed the Commission’s plan. A final decision by the European Parliament and the Council is however still pending. In Germany the government’s opinion on the backloading proposal is split with Mr Altmaier supporting the plan and his Liberal cabinet colleague Economics Minister Philip Rösler so far opposing it. Lately, however, Mr Altmaier said he was convinced that he would find a common stance with Mr. Rösler.