The energy sector should save around a third more CO2

The new draft law provides for significantly higher targets for energy, industry and transport – other areas have to do less.

The Thyssen Krupp steelworks in Duisburg;  in the background the Uniper power plants in Gelsenkirchen

Dhe federal government wants the energy sector to make a particularly large contribution to the more stringent climate targets in Germany. By 2030, the area should now save a good third more CO2 than previously planned, according to the draft of the Climate Protection Act, which the Reuters news agency presented on Thursday. The industry has to do about 15 percent more, the transport sector a good ten percent.

In contrast, the additional requirements for agriculture and the building sector are significantly lower at well below ten percent. However, all sector goals are classified as provisional in the draft, as decisions are still pending at EU level that are likely to influence the distribution between the individual areas. Criticism came from the business world, lamenting the increased uncertainty for business and consumers.

The climate law had also been revised following pressure from a ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court and is to be passed in the cabinet on Wednesday. According to this, Germany must save 65 percent greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990. So far, 55 percent were planned. Around 40 percent have currently been achieved. Climate neutrality, i.e. the almost complete waiver of CO2 emissions, is now planned for 2045 instead of the previous 2050.

“The availability of CO2-neutral energy must be increased dramatically”

The Federation of German Industries (BDI) was critical: “The hectic tightening of the national climate targets increases the uncertainty for business and consumers,” said BDI boss Siegfried Rußwurm. For many companies it is existential that the practical implementation also has to be clarified.

“The availability of CO2-neutral energy must be increased dramatically,” he demanded. Effective protection against international competitive disadvantages is also a prerequisite for successful climate protection. “Otherwise there is a risk of unforeseeable risks for the future of Germany as an industrial location as the most important source of prosperity and employment.”

The Federal Constitutional Court had criticized the climate law of 2019 as inadequate and demanded a reform by the end of 2022. The judges criticized the fact that after 2030 no more concrete specifications were made on the way to the planned climate neutrality in 2050. They also spoke of too high a burden for the younger generation in view of the necessary CO2 savings during this time. From this it was deduced that more ambitious goals must be formulated before 2030. However, this was due anyway, since the European Union has already tightened its climate target for 2030.

As demanded by the court, the new draft law now also includes annual savings targets for the years after 2030. For 2035, for example, there are now the target of 78 percent and in 2040 of 88 percent savings compared to 1990. The law has a mechanism that in the event of failure the annual targets of just one sector, which must submit an immediate program for readjustment. This year, this affected the building sector, so that building minister Horst Seehofer had to act.