According to estimates, reduction will amount to around 32 per cent by 2020
Today the German cabinet adopted the Climate Action Report 2017. Based on estimates, the Federal Government currently assumes a CO2 reduction of approximately 32 per cent by 2020 as compared to 1990. The original target had been 40 per cent, which leaves a gap requiring action of presumably 8 percentage points, equalling 100 million tonnes of CO2. Without the Climate Action Programme approved in 2014, the gap might have been even larger – 12 percentage points.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze commented: "In climate policy there have been failures in recent decades which cannot be rectified in the short run. It is crucial that we get back on track and achieve our goal of a 40 per cent reduction as soon as possible. We have to learn from the past to be better in the next phase. We need clear and binding goals for each sector. The good news is that we already know the instruments which will enable us to reach our goals – renewable energies and electric mobility, for example."
Various factors have contributed to the gap now being much wider than previously anticipated: First, the capacity of existing climate action measures to reduce CO2 emissions was overestimated by tonnes. This applies in particular to the transport sector. Second, economic growth was significantly higher than predicted. Third, population growth exceeded projections. Current trends with regard to economic development and transport volumes indicate that the gap may even exceed the currently estimated 8 percentage points.
In 2014 the Federal Government first put figures to the target achievement gap to be expected. To close this gap, it adopted the Climate Action Programme 2020 and the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE). These measures aimed at achieving an additional 62 to 78 million tonnes of CO2 reductions. The Climate Action Report now shows that these programmes will reduce CO2 emissions by 52 million tonnes by 2020 at the most – in other words, two thirds of the original goal. This is due to the fact that some measures have as yet not had the planned impact. This applies to all sectors, in particular transport and buildings.
The report lists approximately 110 measures and describes in detail how much CO2 reduction can be achieved by these measures by 2020. The quantification was carried out by a scientific consortium.