Draft Climate Protection Programme: CO2 Reduction Contribution From Energy Generation Under Discussion

According to initial information on a (not yet formally published) draft of the “Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020” prepared by the Environment Ministry (BMUB), the exact CO2 reduction contribution expected from electricity generation is still open. Several media reports papers discuss whether Germany will be able to reach its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% compared with 1990 by 2020 with the Climate Action Programme in its current form, taking into account also an (as yet also not formally published) draft of a National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency prepared by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The Cabinet is due to decide about both plans on 3 December.

Without additional efforts Germany would only achieve a CO2 reduction of approximately 33% by 2020, Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said in April when she presented key points for the “Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020”. The annual gap amounts to roughly 100 million tonnes of CO2 annually. Various media sources point out that Mrs Hendricks publicly said in the past that is was inevitable to shut down lignite-fired power plants.

So far her draft climate action programme does not go into much detail, awaiting further input from the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. It speaks about “a further development of conventional power” and a reform of the European Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).

From the side of the BMWi, Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel in a recent speech told trade union members of brown-coal power plant operator Vattenfall that it did not make sense to phase out nuclear power and coal simultaneously. He was still convinced of existing over-capacities, but wanted to revive the ailing EU ETS and thus strengthen market signals to cope with the overcapacity, the papers say, adding that an effect would ot be seen before 2020.

Both drafts will now undergo inter-ministerial consultation. It remains to be seen how remaining differences will be resolved before the decision of the Federal Cabinet scheduled for 3 December 2014.

Sources: Tagesschau; Spiegel; Rheinische Post

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