Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Germany faces ‘huge’ task of meeting energy, climate goals

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Wind turbines at sunset in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, January 10, 2022. ( Associated Press photo/Martin Meisner)

BERLIN ( Associated Press) – Germany’s new climate minister said on Tuesday that the country is a “huge” task if it wants to achieve its goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring enough energy for its energy-hungry industry. is facing.

Robert Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Greens, told reporters in Berlin that Germany is on track to halve its emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels – a far cry from the government’s target of 65%.

The pandemic-related impact that allowed Germany to achieve its interim target of a 40% reduction by 2020 faded away last year, resulting in a renewed increase in emissions for 2021.

One reason for Germany’s rising emissions is its decision to close all nuclear power plants by the end of this year, increasing reliance on coal-fired power plants.

The government plans to “ideally” fill the gap in natural gas underpinning coal power by 2030 until enough renewable energy is available to meet the demands of Europe’s largest economy.

Hebeck said renewable sources such as solar and wind power currently provide about 43% of Germany’s electricity, but that share needs to nearly double to 80% by 2030. Electricity consumption is projected to increase significantly over that period as people switch from combustion-engined vehicles to electric cars, and heating homes to electric-powered heat pumps with oil, he said.

“You can see that the task is big, huge,” Hebek said. He said the country would face a “huge political debate” over the measures needed to achieve the goals.

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http://apnews.com/hub/climate . Follow up on Associated Press’s climate news coverage

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